UAE Red Crescent donates for food in Gaza

28 May 2012

The United Arab Emirates Red Crescent (UAERC) has generously contributed USD 817,000 in support of food for the poorest refugees in Gaza.

The donation will support some of the most vulnerable Palestine refugee families requiring assistance under the Agency’s social safety-net programme (SSNP). This programme targets refugee families most in need in UNRWA’s five fields of operation through providing food assistance, including baskets of essential commodities such as flour, rice, oil, sugar and milk.

After what will soon be five years of tight access restrictions and blockade, much of the population of the Gaza Strip remains unemployed, poor, and dependent on aid. 68 per cent of the refugee population is receiving food from UNRWA, and 62 per cent of the total Gaza population is dependent on international agencies for at least some of its food, while the unemployment rate stands at 29 per cent.

Welcoming the contribution, Mr. Filippo Grandi, UNRWA Commissioner-General said: “Five years of access restrictions have brought many Gazan families to their knees. People are very dependent on our food programmes. Securing funding for these programmes is increasingly difficult, and so we are especially grateful to the UAERC for coming forward now with this timely donation.”

The UAERC is a regular contributor to food for Palestine refugees in Gaza. Over the last five years, the UAERC contributed over five million dollars for food aid. The UAERC is also a committed supporter of shelter reconstruction for Palestine refugees through UNRWA, having supported major projects in Lebanon, Gaza and Syria.

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 5.4 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:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724