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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
11 June 2012

Britain supports disadvantaged Palestine refugees through UNRWA

11 June 2012
Beirut, Lebanon

On a visit to Lebanon today, International Development Minister Alan Duncan announced a new three-year package of UK aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support Palestine refugees in the region.

The new UK package will help provide health, education and other vital services to tens of thousands of Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

The new support will include:

The announcement follows a visit by the minister to the Burj Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut to see first-hand the help that UNRWA provides. Whilst in Beirut, he also met with UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi to discuss UNRWA’s reform plans, designed to further strengthen service delivery and to ensure that UNRWA can best serve refugees across the region.

International Development Minister Alan Duncan said:

“Today in Lebanon, I have seen for myself the excellent work that UNRWA is doing to improve life for Palestinian refugees. I met their dedicated staff and heard stories from the refugees whose lives have been transformed by their work.

“By providing education, health, relief and protection, UNRWA is helping to improve the living standards and long-term prospects for tens of thousands of Palestinians, as well as meeting more immediate humanitarian needs with food and income support for the most vulnerable.

“I am proud to announce today that the UK is able to continue to support this vital work.”

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said:

“I am grateful to Britain for its continued support. It has emerged as a model donor, consistent in its commitment; financially and in advocating for UNRWA’s human development mission.

“Importantly, by providing predictable support over three years, the UK will enable UNRWA to plan ahead to address needs on a longer term basis.”

As well as confirming the new funding, the minister spoke about the wider support that the UK has provided to those in the region, including medical aid, shelter and other humanitarian support to those affected by fighting in Syria, and the economic support provided to the region through the Arab Partnership.

Notes to editors:

- Ends -

Background information:

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight.

UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

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