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Islamic Relief USA Donates US$ 2.4 million to support vulnerable refugees in Gaza

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© 2013 UNRWA Photo by Shareef Sarhan

Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) generously contributed US$ 2.4 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support 3,000 vulnerable Palestine refugees in Gaza.

"We support UNRWA's fundraising efforts to help alleviate the suffering experienced by so many refugees," said Sharif Aly, CEO of Islamic Relief USA. "The Agency has done invaluable work ensuring that the 526,000 Palestine refugee children remain in school, health services serving three million refugees remain open and that close to two million refugees in Gaza, and Syria receive food assistance. Nonetheless, there remains a great need for humanitarian assistance and financial resources. The world community has a responsibility to help provide access to essential services to some of the world's most vulnerable and at-risk populations."

“At this time of dramatic crisis for Palestine refugees, we are incredibly grateful for this continued partnership with Islamic Relief USA for the children and families of Gaza,” said UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl. “This partnership with Islamic Relief began in 2009 and the longevity of their assistance is a testament to the effectiveness of the services we continue to deliver every day to a population that is dire need.”

The generous contribution from IR USA will assist UNRWA in its efforts to help vulnerable children and families in Gaza to meet their basic needs.

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.