France support to UNRWA Emergency food assistance in Gaza with EUR 750,000

31 July 2021

France contributed EUR 750,000 to enable the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to continue addressing basic humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in Gaza through food assistance. The impact of fifteen years of blockade, combined with the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the last round of hostilities in May 2021 has fueled unprecedented levels of destruction poverty, unemployment and food insecurity further deteriorating the humanitarian situation in Gaza. As a result, around 1.2 million food-insecure Palestine refugees in Gaza depend on UNRWA to secure their needs of basic humanitarian needs. UNRWA services, including food assistance, provide a lifeline to Palestine refugees and help them lead healthier and more dignified lives.

“On behalf of the UNRWA, I wish to thank the Government of France for generosity and support to Palestine refugees. This support is the confirmation of France’s commitment to life-saving food assistance that the Agency provides to over one million Palestine refugees in Gaza. The effect of the blockade coupled by COVID-19 and the 11-day escalation in violence, beginning on 10 May 2021, is depriving Palestine refugees in Gaza of their right to hope for a decent future,” said Tamara Alrifai, UNRWA Acting Director of External Relations.

This French contribution assisted in co-funding food commodities and food baskets to more than 41,000 Palestine refugees in Gaza in 2021 at a crucial time of unprecedented needs. “France is committed to improve food security for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, in line with our support to UNRWA and our 2019-2024 international strategy for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. We are delighted to support UNRWA Emergency food assistance program in Gaza that preserves the dignity of the assisted populations,” said René Troccaz, the Consul General of France in Jerusalem.       

France has been a dedicated and reliable supporter and partner to UNRWA for 70 years, reaching a total of EUR 20 million in funding in 2020 and EUR 22.2 million in 2021.

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 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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.

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140