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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
1 December 2008


PRESS RELEASE
1 December 2008
]

The Netherlands Support UNRWA Community Centre in Syria


The Embassy of the Netherlands signed with UNRWA today a financing agreement to help reduce poverty among Palestinian refugees.

Under the agreement, the Embassy will support UNRWA’s community development activities at Rukin Eddin Community Centre in Damascus by establishing a sports hall for Palestinian women and youth and a beauty and hairdressing training facility. The contribution will also be used to provide rehabilitation services to children with disabilities and to enhance the capacity of the community committees.

Signing for the Netherlands, Ambassador Désirée Bonis praised UNRWA’s efforts in alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian refugees and reiterated the commitment of the Government of Netherlands towards the Palestinian refugees.

Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, thanked the Netherlands for its funding support to UNRWA, saying: "This project empowers women and youth by providing the entrepreneurial skills that will help them come out of poverty and have a better future". "We are immensely grateful to the Dutch government and people," Mr. Moumtzis added.

The Netherlands is one of UNRWA’s major donors and has contributed over US$180 million to the Agency over the last eight years.

Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid. UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA’s operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors. The Agency’s regular budget for 2008-2009 is $ 1.1 billion, which covers the recurrent costs of the Agency’s education, health and relief and social services activities. UNRWA’s headquarters are in Gaza City and Amman.


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