Of the two million Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip, some 70 per cent are refugees dependent on UNRWA for humanitarian assistance. (File photo)
During a visit to Beach Camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Oliver Owcza, the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ramallah, informed about Germany’s contribution of EUR 37 million (US$ 40 million) recently announced at the pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in New York this June.
Despite the German funding, UNRWA still faces a US$ 75 million gap for 2023. If not funded, the Agency will be forced to reduce or totally stop its food assistance in the Gaza Strip in September.
Oliver Owcza called on other donors to step in to close the gap: “Germany remains committed to assisting Palestine Refugees. With our support this year, we will help UNRWA to provide food assistance to 1.2 million people in Gaza. It is of utmost importance that other donors provide additional contributions for UNRWA to continue this indispensable work.”
The delegation visited UNRWA services in Beach Camp to see firsthand how the Agency is assisting Palestine Refugees. The delegation then took part in one of the Summer Fun Weeks activities at Beach Elementary Boys School. These activities provide psychosocial support for over 130,000 children impacted by rounds of conflict and the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.
Currently, three out of four Gazans rely on emergency food assistance and the rate of food insecurity is increasing. With exceptionally high poverty and unemployment rates, an already fragile humanitarian situation threatens to deteriorate further.
UNRWA provides a critical humanitarian lifeline for Palestine Refugees in the Gaza Strip, giving food assistance to 1.2 million people.
“We thank Germany for its longstanding commitment to support Palestine Refugees,” said Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza. “Reliable funding enables UNRWA to provide food assistance to Palestine Refugees living in the Gaza Strip. We highly appreciate Germany’s generous support to the food assistance programme and the efforts to draw attention to the critical funding gap which threatens to disrupt our food assistance programme with huge impact on hunger and food security of Palestine Refugees.”
Germany was the second largest donor to UNRWA in 2022. To date in 2023, the Government of Germany has contributed a total of EUR 76.5 million to UNRWA.