The United States announced a new contribution of US$ 123 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which will enable the Agency to continue its work serving a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees in the region. This latest donation brings the total U.S. contribution to UNRWA in 2013 to US$ 244.5 million.
US$ 75 million will go towards the General Fund, which supports core activities in education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement and microfinance.
“On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank the United States for this generous contribution today. The U.S. has assisted the Agency for several decades as a major bilateral donor. Its commitment to Palestine refugees is crucial to maintaining regional stability and supporting health, education and other programmes that UNRWA offers to this disadvantaged community. Despite the difficult economic situation worldwide, the U.S. has proven once again that it is dedicated to the development of Palestine refugee potential,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi.
The donation from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration includes an additional US$ 37 million earmarked for the Agency's Emergency Appeal in Gaza and the West Bank, US$ 10 million for the construction and equipment of three schools and two health centres in Gaza and US$ 1 million for relief work in Nahr el-Bared camp in Lebanon.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Clements reaffirmed the United States support for UNRWA services, saying: “The United States has been proud to work with UNRWA for many years. We remain committed to supporting their efforts to help Palestinian refugees receive the services that they need.”
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.