Bank of Palestine partners with UNICEF to assist children and families affected by winter storm in Gaza

GAZA, 24 December 2013 – The Bank of Palestine is providing 50,000 USD to UNICEF to help Palestinian children and families in the aftermath of the severe winter storm that hit Gaza, in an initiative whereby Bank of Palestine staff on the ground are volunteering their time to help with the distribution of relief supplies.

“We are most grateful for this very timely and generous support from the Bank of Palestine which will help UNICEF provide children and families staying in shelters or temporary housing with essential hygiene supplies and children’s clothing,” said June Kunugi, UNICEF Special Representative to the State of Palestine, “This will help protect their health and keep them warm.”

Following four days of torrential rains, hundreds of houses in Gaza were flooded, leaving many people trapped inside homes inundated by rising waters. Approximately 6,000 people, half of them children, had to be evacuated to shelters across the coastal enclave.

"Being a bank that is close to the society and part of the communities in which we operate, there was no question about us stepping up to provide urgent humanitarian assistance for the vulnerable Palestinians that were affected by this recent tragedy,” said Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine. “I am also proud that our employees have joined the bank's efforts and are volunteering to help the victims of the storm,” he added.

The effects of the harshest weather for decades have further exacerbated the already overstretched Gaza’s water and sanitation facilities. Even before the winter storms hit, they were intermittently operational due to fuel and electricity shortages, resulting in daily blackouts of around 12 hours.

Bank of Palestine had already supported UNICEF’s assistance to Palestinian children in 2010. Following Operation ‘Cast Lead’, it contributed USD 250,000 to support 20 family centres set up in Gaza to help children and their caregivers recover from the impact of the military operations.

For further information, please contact:

Monica Awad, UNICEF: 054 778 7605 or mawad@unicef.org

Khaldoun A.Abu Saleem, Bank of Palestine: 0599415450 or kabusaleem@bop.ps


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org