UK Contributes $4.7m to UNRWA for Gaza Shelter Needs

JERUSALEM, December 17, 2014 (WAFA) – The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), contributed $4.7 million to the UNRWA Flash Appeal for Gaza, as part of its pledge during the Gaza donor conference, reported a press release issued by the UNRWA office in Jerusalem.

Thousands of Palestinians, who were displaced after their houses were either leveled or partially destroyed as a result of the latest Israeli 51-day onslaught on the strip, are suffering from the harsh winter, making the stark circumstances even worse.

“This funding will help UNRWA meet the urgent shelter needs of Palestinian refugees in Gaza as winter sets.” The donation is expected to be enough to provide rental assistance to 30,000 vulnerable individuals (over 5,000 families)” said the release.

Announcing the donation, head of DFID’s Palestinian Programme, Robin Milton called on all donors to step up reconstruction efforts saying “The events in Gaza this summer took a terrible toll”. He stressed the need to see a lasting change in Gaza.

Milton urged both the Palestinians and Israelis to return to negotiations to reach a durable solution to the conflict.

Thanking the UK Government for its longstanding support, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “I am very grateful for this important additional contribution from the UK , which is so urgently needed by homeless families in Gaza. “

He insisted on donor countries to fulfill their pledges put forward at the Cairo Conference for the reconstruction of Gaza. In addition to urgently needed humanitarian aid and reconstruction. Krähenbühl said a firm political action is necessary to tackle the reasons which resulted in the conflict, including the blockade and occupation.

“The people of Gaza need hope, change and real economic opportunities, as well as lasting stability and peace,” he said.

UK has provided $26.6 million in humanitarian support to people in Gaza this summer, through UNRWA, the World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross and local NGOs.

DFID announced an additional $31.3 million contribution at the Cairo conference. This latest contribution brings the funding DFID has disbursed so far from the Cairo pledge to $7.8 million.