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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
28 August 2015



UNRWA SCHOOLS OPEN ON TIME THANKS TO US$ 15 MILLION KUWAITI PLEDGE
مدارس الأونروا تفتح أبوابها في الموعد بفضل تعهد كويتي بالتبرع بمبلغ 15 مليون دولار

A generous pledge of US$ 15 million from the Government of Kuwait will help enable UNRWA to open its schools on time for the 2015/16 school year. UNRWA had been facing a budget deficit of US$ 101 million in its General Fund that risked delaying the school year for the Agency’s 685 schools, potentially affecting half a million Palestine refugee children in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

“Education is central to the identity and dignity of Palestine refugees and of the 500,000 boys and girls whose future depends on learning and developing skills in our 685 schools,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. “Despite the many challenges and hardships facing UNRWA students today, the contribution from the people and government of Kuwait allows the next generation of Palestine refugees to keep their future hopes alive.”

The Commissioner-General went on to add: “Therefore, on behalf of the Palestine refugees, and in particular the half a million children who will be starting the new academic year on time, I express my profound gratitude to the Government of Kuwait for their strong solidarity and generous contribution.”

Kuwait has long been an important and consistent donor to UNRWA. So far in 2015, they have donated US$ 15 million for Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, in addition to their annual contribution of US$ 2 million to core activities in March.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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 more than US$ 106 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-schools-open-time-thanks-us-15-million-kuwaiti-pledge


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