China contributes US$ 300,000 to UNRWA in support of human development programmes for Palestine refugees

24 November 2016
Photo Courtesy of the Representative Office of the People’s Republic of China to the Palestinian National Authority

The Government of the People’s Republic of China has contributed US$ 300,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services for Palestine refugees, including education, health, relief and social services and camp improvement.

The contribution marks a 50 per cent increase in China’s annual contribution to the Agency’s Programme Budget and was formally presented by the Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the Palestinian National Authority, Ambassador Chen Xingzhong, to the UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, during a signing ceremony in Ramallah on Sunday, 20 November.

“I am very grateful for the increased contribution and encouraged by the deepening partnership and cooperation with China,” said Mr. Krähenbühl. “I appreciate China’s commitment to addressing the plight of Palestine refugees and to strengthening its support to the Agency’s human development activities. UNRWA is keen to explore further partnership opportunities with China, in particular with a focus on youth.”

The People’s Republic of China first contributed to UNRWA in 1964. In recent years, it has rapidly increased its contributions to the Agency, and in recognition of the important partnership, the UNRWA Commissioner-General made his first official visit to the country on 5 July 2015.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.