UAE Red Crescent to send food for Gaza flood victims
29 January 2009
The United Arab Emirates Red Crescent (UAERC) yesterday despatched to Gaza a convoy of sugar and flour worth 2 million dirhams (approximately $540,000), in an operation coordinated between the UAERC, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC).
The UAERC was responding to an urgent appeal by the UN Agency for food to ease the plight of the refugees of Gaza. Residents of the Strip are currently suffering from the effects of a long-term economic blockade, and more recently contended with floods which devastated parts of the region.
The first instalment of the 43-truck convoy left Cairo yesterday carrying hundreds of tons of flour and sugar. The remaining items will reach Gaza on Sunday.
UNRWA’s newly appointed Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi, thanked the UAERC and the ERC, saying: “This latest donation exemplifies the consistent support which the UAERC regularly gives to our relief operations in Gaza and elsewhere. We appreciate deeply their concern for the people of Gaza, as we also appreciate the consistent readiness of the Egyptian Red Crescent to facilitate donations like this.”
This is the first donation received by UNRWA from the UAERC this year. In 2009, the UAERC contributed more than US$9 million in support of the Agency’s projects in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon.
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.
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