Urgent renewed UNRWA appeal for Gaza’s emergency programmes

13 September 2011

13 September 2011

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, has renewed its appeal for urgently needed emergency assistance in the impoverished Gaza Strip. The appeal for US$ 36 million comes amid protests against reductions in emergency activities that have already been caused by severe funding shortfalls, and against the backdrop of events elsewhere in the Arab world.

“Our emergency programmes in Gaza, face a critical funding situation. These programmes are separate from the Agency’s regular education, health and relief activities, and are specifically tailored to address the most urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable refugees in Gaza. We call on our donors and other stakeholders to respond to this appeal as an urgent priority,” said UNRWA spokesman, Chris Gunness.

Of the US$ 36 million – US$ 11 million is required for creating temporary employment, US$ 16 million for food assistance, US$ 6 million for school feeding, and US$ 3 million will be spent on community mental health.

“UNRWA fears that without a substantial injection of cash towards its emergency work in Gaza, food rations to hundreds of thousands of refugees, including children in UN schools, may be reduced in the coming months and community health programmes will be threatened, including psycho-social support to 25,000 children,” said Gunness.

“The implications of this for stakeholders in the Middle East region and also for the poorest of the poor in Gaza are far reaching and must be of deep concern to all of us. That is why we in UNRWA are working unstintingly to secure funds for these desperately needed programmes. It is an unfortunate reality that until the blockade is lifted in full, allowing Gaza’s economy to recover, there will continue to be a need for international humanitarian assistance to support the people of Gaza.”

Download the full appeal (PDF)


For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
[email protected]

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
[email protected]

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Advisor, Gaza
Gaza mobile: +97(0)59 942 8061
Office: +97(0)8 288 7531
[email protected]

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: