[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Lionello Boscardi - UNRWA Partnership, told IMRA
that at least 35 trucks will make their way from Amman through Israel to the
Gaza Strip this Tuesday and that there will be many more trucks to follow as
the program is already slated to continue through the 27th.]
Dubai Begins Humanitarian Airlift for UNRWA in Gaza
21 July 2014
As the number of casualties and injured civilians rises in the Gaza Strip,
aid agencies have geared up for the emergency response and mobilized relief
supplies from the International Humanitarian City (IHC), in Dubai, United
Arab Emirates. These supplies have been donated to the UN Relief and Works
Agency (UNRWA) for thousands of vulnerable displaced families in Gaza.
Under the direction of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a special
airlift in support of displaced families in Gaza began on Sunday from the
Royal Wing in Dubai, where a 747 cargo took off carrying 115 metric tons of
aid, containing 45,000 mattresses, 10,000 blankets and 220 hygiene kits.
The plane landed at Marka International Airport in Amman early on Monday, 21
"We are very grateful for the immediate reaction and most generous response
we received from Dubai and all the IHC members to our call for help", said
Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General, who added that "the Dubai
airlift is one of the best examples of how effective humanitarians can be
when working together."
In less than 24 hours, IHC coordinated participation of member organizations
including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the
UN World Food Programme (WFP)/UN Humanitarian Response Depot), the UN
Children's Fund, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) and Emirates Red Crescent. The members planned a joint
logistics effort to ensure maximum efficiency in delivering aid to 100,000
internally displaced people amid deteriorating security conditions in Gaza.
Relief items included jerrycans, sleeping mats, blankets, tarpaulins,
hygiene kits and kitchen sets. They were dispatched from IHC warehouses,
which hold supplies, as well as some of the largest global stockpiles, for
aid agencies including UNHCR, WFP and IFRC, and then transferred to the
royal aircraft in the Dubai Air Wing.
In the coming days, more airlifts are scheduled to arrive in Amman, from
where UNRWA will truck the aid into Gaza for distribution. UNRWA plans to
expand the scope of the donations to include emergency food parcels as
stocks of food and other essential goods dwindle.
– Ends –
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
five 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$ 68 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2624
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0627
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724