On World Food Day UNRWA and Qatar Charity Promote Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits

21 October 2019
Students from UNRWA schools in Gaza receive their healthy meals from Qatar Charity  Photo credit: Ibrahim Abu Eisheh

In coordination with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), under the theme “Food Systems to End Hunger in the World”, Qatar Charity distributed 37,000 meals to Palestine refugee students in 35 UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip on the occasion of World Food Day. The distribution began at the UNRWA Basic Beach Co-Educational School "A" and will continue through to Sunday, 27 October 2019. This activity seeks to promote the importance of healthy food and nutritional eating habits. Every meal distributed consists of vegetables, fruits, a bottle of water, fruit-flavored milk and a snack.. In addition, every child will receive an informational flyer highlighting healthy nutritional habits.

Approximately 80 per cent of Gaza’s population depends on humanitarian assistance after years  of blockade, repeated rounds of hostilities and political unrest. Some one million Palestine refugees rely on quarterly food assistance from UNRWA to meet their basic food needs. This timely initiative by the Qatar Charity comes in harmony with the Agency’s efforts to promote food security and nutrition.

Expressing his gratitude for Qatar Charity’s donation, Farid Abu-Athra, Chief of the UNRWA Education Programme in Gaza, said: “We would like to thank Qatar Charity for this initiative on World Food Day which is a great opportunity to raise awareness of our students about the importance of healthy nutrition.”

In addition to the aforementioned support from Qatar Charity, a General Cooperation Agreement between UNRWA and Qatar Charity was signed on the margins of this year’s United Nations General Assembly on 22 September  2019 in New York.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget.

UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140