UNRWA statement on the passing of Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

18 June 2012


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is deeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

His Royal Highness was a strong supporter of Palestine refugees. Through his leadership of the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People and the King’s Campaign for the Support of the People of Gaza he was instrumental in providing Palestine refugees, through UNRWA, with generous material support on repeated occasions. He was awarded in 2010 the UNRWA Distinguished Donor Award as testament to his unwavering humanitarian endeavours.

The Agency and the Palestine refugees it serves wish to express their deep appreciation of the support of His Royal Highness and that of the leadership, government and people of Saudi Arabia. On this sad occasion, they would like to extend sincere condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people.

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has sent a personal message of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

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
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724