In Brussels, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, accepted a contribution of US$ 100,000 from His Excellency Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Thani Al-Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of Mission to the European Union.
This contribution from Qatar will support the Agency's well-established university scholarship programme for Palestine refugees in Lebanon. The funds will be used to pay for three 4-year scholarships, in the fields of physiotherapy, speech therapy and psychology.
Welcoming the donation, the Commissioner-General said: “We are very grateful for this donation from Qatar which will help us stand firm in our commitment to Palestine refugee youth and will support our efforts to improve access to the local and regional labour market. We look forward to further developing this interaction.”
Qatar is an important partner of UNRWA. The Government of Qatar has been a generous supporter of the Agency's education and health programmes.
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$ 69 million.
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