Geneva, 9 December 2014 – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has today launched an emergency appeal for $414 million to support those living in the occupied Palestinian territory, where demands for “lifeline” services continue to grow.
At an event in Geneva, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Margot Ellis said that 2014 borne witness to the violent conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory that has yet again caused the inconsolable loss of lives.
“2014 has been a particularly devastating year for Palestinians, who continue to suffer under occupation and who continue to be robbed of their homes, their development and in many cases, their lives,” Ms. Ellis said.
“The emergency assistance provided by UNRWA and other UN agencies represents a lifeline for Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory, many of whom cannot survive without such assistance,” she added.
This year’s conflict devastated the Gaza economy, which had already been weakened by years of blockade. With even fewer livelihood opportunities, food insecurity has deepened and now represents the bulk of the UNRWA emergency programme.
To meet that demand, the UNRWA emergency programme will use the funding to provide basic food to over 800,000 refugees, and provide 245,000 students with one small meal per school day.
With the funds, UNRWA will also provide emergency cash assistance to refugees. The Agency will provide emergency health and education as well as counsellors to help address the needs of children and adults in trauma.
In the West Bank, UNRWA emergency interventions will continue to have a strong emphasis on protection. Additionally, six mobile health clinics and six community mental health teams will support over 50 vulnerable communities.
With the money, UNRWA also plans to deliver food assistance and cash-for-work to 35,000 food-insecure refugee households. Additionally, UNRWA will give logistical support to a joint food distribution with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to support vulnerable Bedouin and other herder communities.