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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


PAL/1831
25 June 1996

SAUDI ARABIA CONTRIBUTES $10 MILLION TO UNRWA
PROJECTS IN WEST BANK, GAZA STRIP


Funds To Be Used for Schools, Health Centre, Shelter Rehabilitation


VIENNA, 21 June (UNRWA) -- The Government of Saudi Arabia has contributed an additional $10 million to support projects of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The agreement was formalized at a signing ceremony today in Vienna by the Director- General of the Technical Department of the Saudi Fund for Development, Yousef al-Bassam, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. al-Bassam said, "Our experience of cooperation with UNRWA has been very positive. We are sure that this new contribution will be used to support the Palestinian people in implementing these development projects." Mr. Hansen expressed his appreciation for the generosity of the Saudi Government, stating, "We are most grateful for this contribution, which will be put to good use for Palestine refugees."

This new funding supplements Saudi Arabia's earlier $20 million contribution to UNRWA in 1994 and its $7.5 million contribution through UNRWA toward the payment of the salaries of the Palestinian Police Force. The $37.5 million total is part of the Saudi Government's programme of assistance for the Palestinian people.

Saudi Arabia's latest contribution will be used to fund a number of projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the second phase of the Agency's Peace Implementation Programme, which was launched in October 1994. They include the setting up of four schools: one in Gaza and three in the West Bank, as well as a mother-and-child health centre in Askar camp in the West Bank. Funding will also go to shelter rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip. Other projects will be identified in the future for funding. Construction on virtually all projects included in the earlier $20 million contribution has been completed, although some delays have been unavoidable in implementing those in the West Bank.

The Government of Saudi Arabia is the third largest donor to the Peace Implementation Programme. It is also a major donor of UNRWA, contributing $1.2 million to the Agency's regular programmes on an annual basis.



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