UNICEF and Bank of Palestine sign partnership agreement to provide care and support to vulnerable families in Gaza
Ramallah, 10 November 2009 – UNICEF and the Bank of Palestine signed a landmark partnership contract today that will provide conflict-affected children and families in Gaza with support in rebuilding their lives.
Under this agreement Bank of Palestine will provide a minimum contribution of $250,000 to UNICEF in support of family centers. The Bank will donate one US dollar to UNICEF for each purchase made by customers using a Bank of Palestine debit or credit card at over 3,000 points of sale located in merchant outlets throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
“This agreement with Bank of Palestine is more than just about money,” said UNICEF-oPt Special Representative Jean Gough. “It is about partnership in support of fulfilling children’s rights. These innovative partnerships spread the mission of UNICEF with other stakeholders who are not normally engaged in UNICEF’s work. They allow people to become more involved, aware, and able to contribute, financially or otherwise, to fulfilling children’s rights.”
“After the devastating war, our support to children and their caregivers in Gaza is a priority and will help prevent further deterioration in their living conditions,” said Bank of Palestine’s Chairman & General Manager, Mr.Hashim Shawa. “Since its establishment in 1960, the Bank of Palestine has always had an active Corporate Social Responsibility program with a special focus on helping children and orphans in need of care. We are especially proud of our latest partnership with UNICEF in Gaza.” he added.
The partnership will support 20 “family centres” being developed in community-based organisations to meet a wide range of child protection needs in Gaza. Through trained facilitators already operating in Gaza, the centres will provide children and caregivers with psychosocial support; remedial education; child protection services; early childhood health advice; raise awareness of unexploded ordnance and provide opportunities for constructive recreation. Each of the centres will be equipped with all the necessary equipment for such activities, and UNICEF will support continuous training and skills-development for facilitators. Each of the centre will reach over 325 children and parents every month.
The Bank of Palestine joins ECHO, the Canada International Development Agency, and the Belgian National Committee for UNICEF, as funding partners for the family centres.
The non-governmental organisations providing services and assistance include: Save the Children Sweden, MAAN development center, TAMER Institute, Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation, The Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution and the Community Training Centre and Crisis Management organisation.
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