Today, the Government of Austria contributed EUR 2.7 million in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Health Programme in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. It also supported the Agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal with EUR 2 million.
Austria’s generous contribution enables UNRWA to continue providing health services through 65 clinics in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The basic health system that UNRWA runs in these areas is under immense pressure due to increasing needs among Palestine refugees, high levels of poverty, increased violence in places, and COVID-19.
In addition to this support to the health programme, Austria’s contribution to the UNRWA office in Syria enables the Agency to provide three months’ worth of cash assistance to 30,500 people. These include female-headed households, families headed by a disabled person and people with disabilities, the elderly and unaccompanied minors. Cash assistance is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in Syria, most of them twice displaced and in acute need of support.
“Austria reiterates its firm partnership with UNRWA by increasing our long-standing support to the Health Programme in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) on one hand, as well as by renewing our support to the Syria Emergency Appeal in the provision of humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria. We fully acknowledge UNRWA’s role in providing critical humanitarian services to Palestine refugees.” said Ms. Astrid Wein, the Austrian Representative in Ramallah.
“On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to express my gratitude to Austria, a strong and reliable supporter to Palestine refugees and our work. This contribution will allow us to continue providing critical health services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and much needed cash to families in desperate need in war-torn Syria,” said Tamara Alrifai, the UNRWA Director of External Relations and Communications.
This year, Austria contributed EUR 6.1 million, of which EUR 400,000 to the UNRWA Programme Budget, EUR 2.7 to the Health Programme as part of the multi-year agreement and additional, EUR 1 million to the occupied Palestine territory Emergency Appeal and EUR 2 million to the Syria Emergency Appeal.