4 February 2010
At a signing ceremony in Dheisheh refugee camp today, US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein announced an initial US contribution of $40 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This contribution will support UNRWA's regular budget and emergency programmes in the West Bank and Gaza.
The $40 million contribution will provide critical health, education, and humanitarian services to 4.7 million Palestinian refugees across the region. Of the total amount, $30 million will support UNRWA's core services, while $10 million will support UNRWA’s emergency appeal for the West Bank and Gaza, including emergency food assistance, job creation, and special health and education programmes designed to help children deal with the trauma of conflict.
The Consul General noted the importance of providing robust and early contributions to UNRWA in light of the Agency's anticipated funding deficit for 2010. He also congratulated UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi of Italy and UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Margot Ellis on their recent appointments.
Commissioner-General Grandi thanked the US government for its $40 million contribution, saying: “We are immensely grateful to the United States government for its generous contribution. It is a fine example of the American commitment to supporting UNRWA and improving the daily lives of Palestine refugees throughout the region.”
The United States is UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor. In 2009, the United States provided over $267 million to UNRWA, including $116.2 million to its General Fund, $119.5 million to its West Bank/Gaza emergency programmes, $30 million to emergency programmes in Lebanon, and $2.2 million to assist other Palestinians in the region.