In Gaza alone, over 1.3 million Palestinian refugees, who make up 70 percent of Gaza’s population, depend on UNRWA for food assistance. Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / AP
The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) contributed US$ 1,000,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
UNRWA said in a press release that this funding will enable the continued provision of cash assistance distribution to Palestine refugees left devastated by the protracted conflict in Syria particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This contribution is part of a US$ 20.7 million agreement with QFFD signed in December 2019, also supporting the Agency’s human development services of education, health, and technical and vocational education reaching up to 438,000 registered Palestine refugees in Syria. Funds received thus far, have helped some 438,000 Palestine refugees, many of whom have been displaced or lost their livelihoods as a result of the conflict.
Ten years of conflict in Syria continue to have dramatic consequences for the people living in the country, particularly Palestine refugees. Violence, displacement, economic disruption and a contracting job market have created and compounded vulnerabilities within the population. A rapidly deteriorating economy and rising inflation are driving the entire population into further vulnerability, with Palestine refugees particularly struggling to cope with the consequences of the economic crisis.
Welcoming the donation, Amanya Michael-Ebye, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria said, “UNRWA is immensely grateful for this generous donation and ongoing QFFD support. The Agency’s cash assistance programme remains the most important component of the UNRWA emergency response, which aims to help Palestine refugees meet a part of their humanitarian needs with the dignity of choice, providing them with the flexibility to address their changing and most urgent needs. Once again, QFFD has demonstrated its commitment to mitigating the suffering of Palestine refugees.”
Sultan Al-Aseeri, Manager of Country Programs at QFFD, said: “The contribution will help vulnerable Palestine refugee families in desperate need under the Agency’s humanitarian response plan to mitigate their suffering and meet their needs. QFFD emphasizes the crucial efforts of UNRWA in support of humanitarian needs of the 438,000 Palestinian Refugees in Syria and commends its work to ensure lifesaving services are sustained despite COVID-19.
The collaboration between QFFD and UNRWA has been critical during this time and the flexibility of cash assistance in meeting individual needs has enabled refugees the freedom to choose support that is in line with their most critical priorities. Beneficiaries reached through this contribution belong to the most vulnerable categories that include female-headed households, households headed by a person with disability and older persons and unaccompanied minors/orphans,” added Al-Aseeri
The QFFD is a regular contributor to the Agency and has always been a strong advocate of UNRWA.