The Brazilian Ambassador and Head of the Representative Office of Brazil to the State of Palestine, Francisco Mauro Holland, visited Gaza Strip where he was received warmly by the residents of Gaza. In turn, the Brazilian Ambassador has expressed his gratitude to the people of Gaza for their hospitability and explained that his visit was to express South America's solidarity with the Gaza Strip against the challenges it endures, and stressed that his country would continue to follow Brazil's supportive approach towards the Palestinian people. The Brazilian delegation also discussed possible cooperation opportunities between Brazil and Palestine in Education, Health and the sports sectors.
"It´s an honour and I'm really proud to be here in Rafah of Gaza Strip for the second time among many friends from Gazan people. I wish that Brazil and Palestine remain close friends that we can work more together in many fields, especially sports," Brazilian Ambassador told MEMO.
The visit of the Ambassador has included many activities at different places in the Gaza Strip, including visiting UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City in order to get better acquainted with the UNRWA's activities in the Gaza Strip. Ambassador Mauro said he was very pleased with this visit and lauded the constructive role played in many fields.
READ: Brazilian ambassador goes to Palestine refugee camp to watch World Cup match
Since many years, Brazil has supported UNRWA to maintain reliable and responsive social services in Gaza, including health care, education and food assistance. The Brazilian Government donates emergency medical kits, the supplies of antibiotics, diabetes and hypertension medication and medical disposables to UNRWA, contributing to the Agency's efforts in providing basic medical assistance to Palestine refugees in Gaza. In addition, Brazil has donated tons of rice, part of which was to cover the needs of rice in Gaza for the Agency's emergency food programme in 2014.
"I believe that the impact of the visit has already been good; we visited UNRWA programs, did itinerant consulates to meet the needs of the Brazilian community and watched the Brazil game in Rafah," Mauro said
Mr. Francisco Mauro also visited the Brazil Refugee Camp in southern Gaza city, and planted olive trees there, with the participation of the Mayor of Rafah. Some may be surprised at why a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip is named" Brazil Camp". Views differed on the reasons behind naming it; some said it was because Brazil funded the camp's renovation in the 1990s, while others said it is in relation to the Brazilian battalion which is one of the United Nations Forces based near the Egyptian-Palestinian border after the Armistice that took place after the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956. On the other hand, the camp people said that because most of the constructed camp´s homes, which were demolished during the first Intifada, are a grant from Brazil.
The Brazilian Ambassador to Palestine, Francisco Mauro Holland, watched the FIFA World Cup football match between his national team and Switzerland in a Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah. The Ambassador decided to sit among Palestinian refugees in the Brazil Refugee Camp in southern Gaza city, wearing a keffiyeh produced by the Palestinian Citizens, and shared these moments with them. Happily for him, and the Brazilian supporters among the refugees, Brazil won 1-0.
"This is a special night while I'm watching my country match in the World Cup here with my Palestinian friends who support Brazil and celebrate our international relations in Gaza Strip," the Ambassador explained. He added," I'm very happy of the presence of Brazil here and how people kept very positive despite all challenges. Palestinians love football and there are a very good players among them and I'm looking to cooperate in sport between Brazil and Palestine."
This is not the first time when the Ambassador of Brazil to Palestine has visited Gaza. In 2016, the Brazilian Ambassador to Ramallah, Mr. Francisco Mauro de Holanda, visited PRCS' headquarters in Gaza City in order to get better acquainted with the Society's activities in the Gaza Strip. The Ambassador said he was delighted to take part in this visit, which aimed at enhancing coordination and cooperation with PRCS with a view to improving health outcomes. He lauded efforts made by PRCS to assist Palestinians.