The Dutch government has made a donation this year of USD 15.9m to UNRWA’s core programming as well as a donation of USD 5.7m in response to UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory.
The donation to UNRWA’s core budget will support the Agency’s education programme including reforms aimed at improving quality and its impact on almost half a million refugee children. In addition, it will fund reforms in UNRWA's health programme that are already being felt, including in the West Bank where they are being successfully piloted. It will also support regular relief, infrastructure and camp improvement initiatives.
The Dutch contribution to UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal will support emergency programming in the West Bank and Gaza, which aims to mitigate the effects on refugees of the deteriorating socio-economic and security situation.
“Ultimately, this contribution assists in fulfilling the social-economic human rights of refugees”, said Birgitta Tazelaar, the Netherlands’ Head of Mission in Ramallah. She also hoped that this contribution would be “an incentive for UNRWA to continue delivering these important services in the most efficient and effective way.”
“We are grateful for these contributions to both our core programming and our 2012 Emergency Appeal”, said Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. “At a time of great economic difficulty for our donors, the strong Dutch support for both human development and humanitarian programming is especially appreciated and will go a long way to helping UNRWA deliver its important developmental programmes as well as humanitarian aid to those in the greatest of need.”
Over the course of the last year, the Netherlands has, amongst others, supported a re-housing project for refugees in southern Gaza and a football project designed to promote the psychological well-being of its participants in the West Bank.
The Dutch government is the fifth-largest donor to UNRWA’s emergency programming, and the eighth-largest donor overall.
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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.
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Adnan Abu Hasna
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