$39 million from Saudi Arabia to re-house Palestine Refugees

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has increased its contribution to UNRWA by $9 million for a project to re-house over 3,500 Palestine refugees in Rafah. The donation of $39 million will fund 752 dwelling units for Palestine refugees whose homes in Rafah were demolished during the second intifada. The contribution will also fund the construction of public buildings: four schools, a health clinic, a community centre with a market area and a mosque.

Construction of the public buildings is 80% complete and today, contracts valued at $23 million were signed for the construction of the housing units. Awarding the contracts to five local construction companies, John Ging, UNRWA's Director of Operations in Gaza said: "This very generous donation from the Saudi Fund for Development is of immeasurable importance to Rafah as it creates 340,000 man-days over the next eight months." He added: "Work will commence within a week".

On Sunday, UNRWA's Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd visited the construction site. She congratulated the workers and highlighted the economic and psychological importance of this large-scale building project. The Commissioner-General said: "I am delighted to see first hand, how these construction projects are giving hope and the dignity of work to so many refugees, I am very grateful to the Saudi Fund for Development for a donation that will help to replace despair with hope for thousands of families in this impoverished area".

SFD continues to be a strong supporter of UNRWA construction projects. SFD is also funding the construction of an UNRWA school in Deir el-Balah and the reconstruction of Special Hardship Case shelters throughout the Gaza Strip.

For more information, please contact Milina Shahin on 0599.609.485