08 January 2013
The government of the Federal Republic of Germany has contributed an additional EUR 7 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in response to the Agency’s call for emergency food aid to Gaza’s poor. EUR 4 million are designated for UNRWA’s food aid programme, while the other EUR 3 million are earmarked for supplementary school meals in Gaza schools.
“Germany remains committed to alleviating hardship for Palestine refugees in Gaza by providing food aid. In addition to that, Germany supports private sector development, helps to improve water infrastructure and provides technical assistance to improve vocational training and labour market conditions among other activities,” affirmed German Head of Mission Barbara Wolf.
In 2012, Germany contributed EUR 6.1 million for UNRWA food aid and school feeding activities in Gaza. The funds supported UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal, which aims to mitigate the effects of the situation in Gaza and the West Bank on Palestine refugees. In addition to that, Germany contributed EUR 8 million towards UNRWA’s core activities in 2012.
Expressing his gratitude, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi, said, “I would like to thank the German government for their continued support to UNRWA and Palestine refugees. Providing much needed food aid to refugees affected by food insecurity is a priority for UNRWA and this recent contribution by Germany is a sign of their commitment to support vulnerable communities.”
The latest figures reveal that around 80 per cent of Gaza households are dependent on food aid. Recent UNRWA data indicate that more than 300,000 refugees in Gaza live below the abject poverty line and are unable to meet their basic food needs. Through emergency food aid, UNRWA seeks to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and counter the impact of people’s chronic difficulties affording food. At present, 750,000 refugees receive food aid. A separate school-feeding programme ensures all 207,000 pupils at UNRWA schools receive basic nutrition.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.
For more information, please contact:
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724