The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has contributed an additional US$ 2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of Palestine refugees. The contribution will go towards the Agency’s core services, including for education, health and relief and social services, in its five fields of operation in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Expressing his appreciation to the Kingdom, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people for this additional support provided to UNRWA at this time. I am happy to confirm, yet again, that the Kingdom’s long-standing partnership with UNRWA in support of Palestine refugees is something we can rely on.”
This contribution comes at a critical time for UNRWA, which is still facing significant challenges to meet all financial requirements through the end of this year. In 2019, the Agency requires a total of US$ 1.2 billion for all its operations in the region, including both human development and humanitarian aid service delivery.
Over the years, Saudi Arabia has been a dedicated partner to UNRWA and became the Agency’s third-largest donors in 2018 with a total contribution of over US$ 160 million. UNRWA is deeply grateful for the sustained support of the Kingdom.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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