BRAZIL AMBASSADOR TO PALESTINE EXTENDS MEDICAL SUPPORT TO GAZA DURING ANNUAL VISIT

25 March 2015

GAZA

The Ambassador of Brazil to Palestine His Excellency Paulo França, visited UNRWA’s Rimal Health Centre in Gaza City today to see the impact of Brazil’s medical support for Palestine refugees in Gaza.

The event honoured the partnership between the Brazilian Government and the Agency, which amongst the nation’s ongoing humanitarian support has helped UNRWA replenish some of its critical medical supplies left exhausted by the 2014 summer hostilities. The Brazilian Government generously donated five emergency medical kits (35 boxes of medical supplies) to UNRWA contributing to the Agency’s efforts in providing basic medical assistance to Palestine refugees in Gaza. The supplies of antibiotics, diabetes and hypertension medication and medical disposables were distributed to Rimal Health Centre in Gaza City, where 130,000 beneficiaries were cared for last year.

UNRWA’s Deputy Director of Operations in Gaza, Mr. Scott Anderson said: “Brazil is an important friend to UNRWA and to Palestine refugees. The strong support for the people of Gaza voiced by Ambassador Franca during the recent hostilities and ongoing generous support, in addition to the medical kits, is contributing to giving the most vulnerable in Gaza a chance to survive in a consistently challenging environment.”

Brazil's support has helped UNRWA maintain reliable and responsive social services in Gaza, including health care, education and food assistance. In addition to financial support of almost USD $9 million since 2011; Brazil has donated 11,500 metric tons of rice, part of which was to cover the needs of rice in Gaza for the Agency’s emergency food programme in 2014.

Brazil also pledged an additional donation of 6,000 metric tons of rice for the Gaza emergency food assistance, for distribution this year.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 100 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness

UNRWA Spokesperson

Mobile:

+972 (0)54 240 2659

Office:

+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha

Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson

Mobile:

+972 (0)54 216 8295

Office:

+972 (0)2 589 0724

Milina Shahin

Public Information Officer – Gaza Field Office

Mobile:

+972 599 609 485

Office:

+972 8 2887213