A Deeper Partnership between UNRWA and IIROSA

16 January 2014

Amman

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Islamic Relief Organization – Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a mutual cooperation framework to provide assistance to Palestine refugees. This agreements extends  the organizations’ previous mutual cooperation in providing emergency food assistance for Palestine refugees in Gaza and Syria and supporting job creation and the supply of medical equipment in Gaza.

Welcoming this contribution, Peter Ford, Representative of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said: “We are very pleased to be renewing and intensifying our cooperation with IIROSA, which has a high reputation for professionalism as well as humanitarian concern. We have worked together in the past and will be delighted to breathe new life into our cooperation for the benefit of Palestine refugees who continue to suffer, especially the 2 million living under occupation and the almost half million suffering from the fallout of the Syrian conflict.”

IIROSA is a charitable organization with headquarters in Jeddah. It was created in 1979 as an affiliate of the Muslim World League. In 2008, IIROSA contributed US$ 1 million to UNRWA for job creation in Gaza, allowing the Agency to create over 1,000 short-term jobs. During the armed conflict in Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009, IIROSA also funded the purchase of 50 generators, most of which were given to schools.

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.