UNICEF ANNOUNCES US$ 300,000 TO THE UNRWA ASSISTIVE DEVICES PROGRAMME
19 September 2014
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme in Lebanon with a generous new donation of US$ 300,000 to address the urgent needs of children with disabilities. This amount is in addition to the US$ 80,000 that UNICEF has already contributed to the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme as part of its pledge to ensure a better life and future for Palestine refugee children in Lebanon.
UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Annamaria Laurini announced the donation during the closing ceremony of the UNRWA Assistive Devices Programme for 2014, which took place at the UNRWA Deir al-Qasi School in Saida on Friday 12 September 2014. Other guests at the ceremony included the Director of UNRWA Lebanon, Ann Dismorr; the Executive Director of Interpal Lebanon, Ali Azzam; the Representative of the Palestinian Disability Forum, Jamal Saleh; representatives of the Palestinian popular committees and factions; and a number of Assistive Devices Programme beneficiaries, who participated in the event.
Ms. Dismorr thanked UNICEF for their ongoing support for Palestinian children in Lebanon, highlighting the positive impact such contribution makes to their lives. In her speech, Ms. Dismorr said, “Thanks to the generous funding from UNICEF and Interpal, UNRWA has, as of today, been able to provide assistive devices to 285 Palestine refugees with disabilities, both Palestine refugees from Syria and Lebanon.”
UNRWA supports Palestine refugees with special needs through the provision of rehabilitation services, assistive devices and technical aides, as well as access to special education.
UNICEF and UNRWA have a long standing partnership in Lebanon. UNICEF remains one of the largest UNRWA partners in terms of supporting education and healthcare for Palestine refugee children. Since 2012, UNICEF has provided US$ 4.4 million to assist Palestinian refugee children from Syria in the fields of education, child protection, health and sanitation. In addition, UNICEF support for regular UNRWA programmes in Lebanon has totalled US$ 1.2 million for learning support activities and back-to-school kits since 2011.
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, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.
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