UNICEF today, supported the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) with recreational kits and key educational materials reaching more than 70,000 kids. In a media release, UNICEF said that the recreational kits aim at reaching 70,000 children with needed supplies such as sports materials for 100 schools in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources revealed on Tuesday that the UNRWA has made a decision to reduce food rations distributed every three months to the refugees. The decision aims at paving the way, the sources added, for the complete cancellation of all food rations within the next two years.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) laid Sunday the cornerstone for the Saudi project to re-house homeless refugee families in Rafah. In a press release, UNRWA revealed that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia generously contributed of $20 million to fund the project.

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, visited today the Gaza Strip to assess the Humanitarian situation. He started his visit by signing an agreement to provide €14 million to the food aid programme of UNRWA. He then supervised the delivery of this aid in a distribution centre of the UNRWA in the Khan Yunis refugee camp and visited the demolished settlements, before moving to the Rafah Border Crossing, between Gaza and Egypt. Five days ago, this border became the first to be controlled by Palestinian officials with the assistance of EU observers.

The redeployment of the Occupation Forces in the neighbourhoods of Tel Al-Sultan, Al-Brazil, and Al-Salaam revealed a war crime by the standards of international law, and brought to light a humanitarian tragedy once the smoke of rockets, and artillery shells - once the dust from demolished houses had settled – houses as uncounted yet estimated to be in their hundreds.


The U.N. Commissioner for Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees has pleaded with the international community for badly needed assistance.

Karen Abu Zeid told a press conference at UNRWA's office in Amman Wednesday that the international community should not resort to freezing the salaries of Palestinian Authority employees and stop assistance to the Palestinian people as a means of putting pressure on the Palestinian government led by militant Islamic Hamas.

She warned the deterioration of UNRWA's finances will negatively impact the agency's services to Palestinian refugees, especially in the West Bank and Gaza.

Abu Zeid arrived in Amman from Gaza at the end of a tour of European countries and the United States to discuss assistance for UNRWA.

She said some 120,000 refugees in the West Bank and Gaza have been unemployed since the outbreak of the uprising in 2000 and receive assistance from the agency, in addition to some 160,000 PA employees whose salaries have been retained for three months.

Abu Zeid pointed out that as a result of suspension of international assistance to the Palestinian Authority, some 76,000 families that had earned salaries from the PA were registered with the agency as cases of severe hardship, further aggravating UNRWA's financial problems.

UNRWA offers educational, health and social services to some 4 million Palestinian refugees living in camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

Abu Zeid urged international donors to meet their financial commitments, noting that at the beginning of the year UNRWA asked for emergency assistance to the tune of $75 million, of which only 60 percent was disbursed.

She said the agency will increase the requested amount to $170 million in view of the continuing deterioration of economic conditions in Gaza and the West Bank.

Source: AMMAN- Jordan- UPI- 24/6/2006