Damascus, 23 August 2009
The United States Government has contributed US$957,000 toward the Agency's cash assistance programme for Palestinian Iraqi refugees in Damascus, and US$266,000 to complete the reconstruction of the UNRWA Community Development Centre in Yarmouk Camp.
Receiving the generous donation, Dr. Stefania Pace-Shanklin, Acting Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, expressed UNRWA’s gratitude. She said, "The U.S. Government is a long-standing supporter of UNRWA and this contribution is further evidence of their commitment to enhancing the human development of Palestinian refugees in Syria. This on-going partnership between UNRWA and the United States enables us to continue investing in projects that improve the lives of Palestine refugees".
The community development centre will cater for 135,700 Palestine refugees, including the most vulnerable groups such as women, the disabled, and Palestinian refugees from Iraq. The centre, supervised by a team of committed volunteers, will focus its energy on providing training to job seekers, implementing income-generation projects, and supporting initiatives targeting the well-being of young people. The cash assistance component will allow UNRWA to continue its relief programme for 2010-2011 that targets the poorest Palestinian Iraqi families. The programme started in November 2007 with funding from UNHCR.
The United States is UNRWA's largest bilateral donor. So far in 2009, the U.S. Government has provided US$186 million to UNRWA's programmes in the region.