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UNRWA to support rental subsidies for Gaza families

July 14, 2015 8:22 P.M. (Updated: July 15, 2015 9:58 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) on Tuesday announced nearly $1.5 million of funding that would bededicated to around 2,500 families in the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

UNRWA said that about $560,000 will go toward outstanding rental subsidy payments to cover the period from September to December of last year.

A further $910,000 is set to replace lost household goods.

The aid, which is expected to reach 2,499 Palestinian refugee families across the Gaza Strip, can be accessed through local banks, the statement said.

The agency said: "Emergency shelter -- including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions -- is a top priority for UNRWA."

The announcement comes as UNRWA, the largest service provider for refugees in the Gaza Strip, continues to struggle to secure donor funding and residents are still unable to recover from last summer's war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.

The hostilities resulted in the largest displacement of Gazans recorded since 1967, and nearly 80 percent of the population has been forced into aid dependency.

Tuesday's announcement also comes as UNRWA has not been able to follow through on cash assistance programs in the past.

In February a lack of funding forced the agency to stop a cash assistance program for tens of thousands of Palestinians to make repairs to damaged and destroyed homes.

The agency said at the time that "the Gaza Strip only exists through external funding," adding: "People in Gaza don’t want aid, they want dignity and freedom."
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