Continued Support from Valladolid for UNRWA

10 January 2014

East Jerusalem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) thanks the Valladolid Regional Government, in Spain, for a generous contribution of EUR 12,662 (US$ 17,304). The latest funds from Valladolid will help UNRWA combat gender-based violence (GBV) in the Gaza Strip, as part of the Agency’s ‘Equality in Action’ initiative.

The project, ‘Prevention of and Protection from Gender-Based Violence in the Gaza Strip’, fills an important need. Various forms of GBV affect women throughout Gaza. Although data is limited, studies confirm that 58 per cent of women have suffered psychological maltreatment, while 23 per cent reported physical abuse and nearly 12 per cent reported sexual abuse. Most survivors do not report their situation to the authorities, as they lack the resources to use the legal system or fear being abandoned by their families.

The UNRWA project aims to inform and train the population about GBV while providing comprehensive assistance. The support from Valladolid will enable 41 Palestine refugees – men, women and youth – to attend focus groups about gender issues, equality and violence.

In addition, 55 Palestine refugees will be referred to UNRWA health centres and social services to receive psychological, legal, social and health care assistance. Fourteen workers will be trained to provide them with professional sensitive attendance.  

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.