The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is grateful to UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, for Her generous donation in support of food aid for Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip.
HRH Princess Haya's donation of US $553,800 comes in response to the Agency's Emergency Appeal for the West Bank and Gaza. The funding will enable UNRWA to provide 5,300 individuals from 976 families in the Khuza'a municipality of Khan Younis, Gaza, with food assistance for 12 months.
"In 2014, no mother should worry where the next meal will come from for her children. But politics has trapped too many Gazans in a world of poverty and hunger they cannot escape,” said HRH Princess Haya, who underlined that: "We all need to do more to end this pointless suffering."
Welcoming the donation, Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said: “This big-hearted personal contribution from HRH Princess Haya comes at a time of dire need for the Palestinian refugee families in Gaza. It shows Her commitment to supporting the Palestinian refugees who live on less than a dollar a day in a particularly affected area near the border in Southern Gaza, where poverty levels are among the highest in the entire Gaza Strip.” He added: “I want to express my deep and sincere thanks to HRH Princess Haya, and hope that Her kind gesture will be followed by other generous donors."
In Gaza, 56 per cent of refugee households are food insecure, while another 14 per cent are vulnerable to food insecurity. UNRWA aims to help some 790,000 food-insecure refugees meet their basic food requirements through direct distributions of emergency assistance. In total, some 1.2 million of the approximately 1.7 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA.
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. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.
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