1. Who is UNRWA and what does the organisation do?
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in The Near East (UNRWA) is a United Nations agency and humanitarian organization that operates based on the legal framework applicable to UN entities, including the UN Charter, and in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence and humanity.
The Agency is mandated by the UN General Assembly to provide assistance and protection to Palestine refugees pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services include education, healthcare, relief and social services, camp infrastructure, microfinance and emergency assistance to Palestine refugees.
2. Will the funds reach GAZA?
Yes. UNRWA is a direct implementer of services. Funding that is contributed to UNRWA is received through UNRWA’s own bank accounts and is channelled directly towards the implementation of UNRWA services in the Fields – in this case, to cover the UNRWA Gaza Field’s delivery of immediate humanitarian assistance in response to the current hostilities. UNRWA does not serve as a “pass-through” or rely upon other organisations/partners in Gaza to deliver its services.
For this RLAF Humanitarian Relief for Gaza Campaign, donations are directed into the areas of health, relief and shelter for communities affected by the recent developments in Gaza.
UNRWA has no issue of disbursing the money to the Gaza Field as UNRWA has already over the years established a stable Finance eco system within the 5 different Fields – Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
3. When is the period of donation?
The donation period will be held from Thursday, 19 October 2023 to Thursday, 17 November 2023. RLAF has received an extension of permit from the Commissioner of Charities for the fundraising and will still be conducting the collection until Friday, 17 November 2023.
4. Why can’t we donate to RLAF outside the period of donation?
It is because the permit that RLAF obtained from the Commissioner of Charities (CoC) is only applicable for the campaign date.
5. What is the process to fundraise for this fundraising appeal?
In this fundraising appeal, we follow a meticulous process to ensure transparency and accountability with the donations received:
- We firstly obtained the necessary permit from the Commissioner of Charities (CoC) to raise the fund.
- After getting the permit, we would only then begin the fundraising appeal.
- All monetary donations would then be carefully consolidated and recorded after the campaign period.
- We would then commission an external auditor to certify the donations for the campaign to ensure all transactions are accurately and properly recorded. The report would be sent to the CoC.
- After the audit, we would remit the funds to our sole trusted partner, UNRWA, who have been on the ground assisting the Palestinians.
- UNRWA would then provide us with a comprehensive written report detailing the utilisation of the funds.
- We would conduct monitoring visits, where possible, to assess the impact of our relief efforts and ensure the funds reach the affected beneficiaries.
This approach is to assure donors that your support is used effectively and transparently.
6. When will the funds reach GAZA?
The funds will be transferred immediately after all collections have been collated and accounted for. It is also subject to clearance from the CoC to ensure good governance and accountability.
7. Are the food supplies sold by UNRWA for profit?
There are claims in social media that UNRWA sold food supplies to beneficiaries. These claims are false and unsubstantiated.
Beneficiary families receive food supplies for free from UNRWA at the emergency shelters. However, there may be cases where a few of the beneficiaries sell the supplies once they have received them. For this, UNRWA has no control if beneficiaries sell the supplies they have received.
8. How are the food supplies distributed to the beneficiaries and are there any issues in doing so?
We have checked with our ground partner, UNRWA, on the matter. Beneficiary families receive food supplies for free from UNRWA at emergency shelters.
UNRWA’s teams have been moving as much food supplies as they could to these shelters and bakeries.
However, there were food supplies which could not be further distributed and this was due to two main reasons.
a) No ceasefire causing security risk
The situation has been extremely unpredictable and risky as strikes have been carried in the day and night. These strikes have hit UNRWA’s facilities including storage facility and schools.
To date, UNRWA has lost more than 60 of its staff members. The food supplies from the warehouse have to be moved to distribution sites where staff can divide the portions into smaller containers and then fairly distribute them.
For this, UNRWA has to put in place dozens of its staff and there would most likely be hundreds or thousands of refugees gathering to receive the items.
This would be a massive security risk.
Hence, UNRWA has not been able to take too many risks by having its staff move around and too many people gathering for the distribution until a ceasefire was in place.
b) Lack of fuel
Additionally, due to a lack of fuel, UNRWA’s operations of its trucks to distribute the food supplies has been limited as the fuel has to also be used for other critic.
We seek and appreciate your understanding as the current operations are different from that during peacetime.
We will continue to monitor and work closely with UNRWA to deliver aid and services to the beneficiaries as best as possible.
9. What is the minimum amount for donations?
There is no minimum amount of donation except if you are to donate via Giving.sg which sets a $10 minimum amount.
10. Will receipts be issued for my donations?
Non tax-deductible receipts will be issued upon request via e-mail. As per IRAS regulation, these donations are not tax-deductible as they are donations for “foreign charitable purposes”.
11. What will the donation be allocated for?
The donation will be allocated for health, relief and shelter for communities affected by the recent developments in Gaza.
12. Can our donations be considered as Zakat?
All contributions are not considered as Zakat but as donations.
13. I donated online but forgot to indicate “GAZA2023” under remarks. Will my online donation still be accepted for this fundraising campaign?
Yes. Your online donation will still be accepted for this fundraising campaign provided the donation is submitted during the stated fundraising period.
14. Does RLAF accept in-kind or item donations for this campaign?
We seek your understanding that RLAF does not accept in-kind or item donations for this campaign.
We strive to achieve a community of compassion and care through 3 key strategies : Building youth capacities, supporting community projects and facilitating humanitarian relief.
“I have this personal motto: Treat others how you would love to be treated. I would personally love when someone extends their help my way. That's what keeps me going to consistently volunteer.”Sakinah TanRLAF Core Volunteer
“Through my experience, I learnt to be more thankful and cherish my blessings. I have developed an approach towards things that will now come from the heart, more than any other external factors.”Hazmi Md NoorRLAF Core Volunteer