UN agency lays foundation for its biggest logistics base in Gaza
The United Nations relief agency charged with the well-being of Palestinian refugees has started work on what will become its largest logistics base in the Gaza Strip.
“Construction of the logistics base started this month and will include building a warehouse compound, an open area container yard, an administration building and a fuel station,” said the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in a press release today.
The base will serve as UNRWA’s main warehouse for the storage of basic food and non-food items. It is being constructed in Rafah, in southern Gaza, and will also support distribution activities through 12 distribution centres across the area. In addition, it will be used as maintenance workshop and fuel station for the UNRWA operations in the southern governorates of Gaza, the agency noted.
It is expected to be completed by September 2017 and will operate with approximately 200 UNRWA personnel, including people hired through its Job Creation Programme.
The agency said that the construction of the base has been supported by a $10 million contribution from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
The base is part of a comprehensive project signed between the UN agency and SFD in May 2015 which also includes rebuilding and repairing housing units and supporting the education and health sectors in Gaza with a total contribution $62 million.
“Over the past several years, UNRWA was able to construct many projects - including schools, housing projects and health centres - which would not have been possible without the trust and partnership that exists between UNRWA and Saudi Arabia,” Bo Schack, the Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza said at the ceremony for laying the cornerstones on 25 August.
“Their ongoing support to Palestine refugees in Gaza through UNRWA is commendable,” he added.
UNRWA is a UN agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.