Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Muslim Relief Organizations Pledge to Help UNRWA in Gaza

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Muslim Relief Organizations Pledge to Help UNRWA in Gaza

Article excerpt

Representatives of a coalition of Muslim relief organizations gathered at the Washington, DC?offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Aug. 27 to pledge $500,000 in support of UNRWA's urgent humanitarian work in the Gaza Strip. Representatives from the coalition, which included United Muslim Relief, Islamic Help, Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), Baitulmaal and the Muslim Community and Education Center (MCEC), signed the agreement.

UNRWA lost 11 personnel during Israel's "Operation Protective Edge," Matthew Reynolds, head representative of UNRWA's Washington, DC office, told his guests. "UNRWA?is a lifeline to over 1.2 million Gazan refugees," he said, many of whom are now homeless. In fact, he noted, 1,000 families were still waiting for housing after Israel's Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. Now many more families are living in makeshiftshelters or tents, he said, warning, "We have to work quickly to get ready for winter, especially if it's harsh like last year."

Reynolds is also concerned that as the new school year should have begun, nearly 300,000 people were still sheltering in 85 UNRWA schools and facilities. UNRWA is expecting more than 241,000 students to attend 252 schools this year. …

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