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Hamdan bin Zayed receives UNRWA Commissioner-General

posted on 22/06/2004: 623 views

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Society, RCS, received in Abu Dhabi yesterday Peter Hansen, Commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA. The meeting discussed a number of issues in connection with several projects being carried out by the UAE RCS in a number of Palestinian towns.

Hansen praised the UAE's support for its programmes in Palestine. Hansen, who arrived here yesterday for a two-day visit, paid tributes to H.H. President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for humanitarian assistance offered by the UAE to Palestinian people and refugees who are living under abject circumstances due to the Israeli occupation. In an interview to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Hansen expressed his hope that the UAE government, people and charity organisations would continue their support for Palestinian refugees.

On the UAE-Financed Jenin Camp reconstruction project, the UN official announced that housing units would be handed to Palestinians during October. On his visit to the UAE, Hansen said he would held talks with Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Red Crescent Society, over Sheikh Zayed's initiative to reconstruct 400 homes in Rafah, destroyed by Israeli forces.

Hansen urged countries of the world to follow the UAE suit in extending its hands to the Palestinians. UNRWA) last month appealed to the international community to help finance immediate relief needs of hundreds of families made homeless in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah by whose houses were destroyed by the Israeli army. UNRWA said in a statement that 15.8 million dollars were needed to provide temporary and permanent housing as well as rebuild parts of the town's shattered infrastructure.

UNRWA estimates that 16,000 Palestinians have lost their homes in Rafah since the start of the Intifada with only a third of them later re-housed. In the long run, UNRWA needs funds to build new houses and repair 244 others at a cost of 11.5 million dollars. 'Up to May 30, a total of 21,142 people were left without shelter in Gaza Strip. The agency has offered shelter to one third of them and it needs 38.5 million dollars to secure shelters for the rest,' he said. UNRWA provides education, health and relief and social services to around four million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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