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Germany contributes EUR 45.8 million to support Palestine refugees in Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan
On Monday, the German Development Bank (KfW) signed three agreements with UNRWA for contributions totaling EUR 45.8 million from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support Palestine refugees in Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.
EUR 30 million will go towards reconstruction efforts in Gaza and comes in addition to a previous EUR 20 million contribution from BMZ through KfW after the summer 2014 conflict, making Germany the second largest contributor to the UNRWA emergency shelter response in Gaza. These funds will provide cash grants to approximately 1,200 Palestine refugee families to make the necessary repairs or reconstruction works to their severely damaged or totally demolished homes, as well as transitional rental subsidies for nearly 3,300 families who are waiting for their shelters to be repaired.
“We are deeply grateful for this latest contribution from Germany, which more than doubles the support they’ve already provided to the Agency’s shelter response in Gaza,” said Uta Böllhoff, Director of External Relations and Communications at UNRWA. “The generous donation comes at a crucial time, when many Palestine refugee families in Gaza and across the region are in need of adequate shelter as they prepare for the winter months.”
An additional EUR 10 million will go towards camp improvement projects in Lebanon and Jordan and EUR 5.80 million will provide support for Palestine refugees from Syria living in Lebanon, especially concerning water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
In 2015, Germany contributed EUR 83.2 million (US$ 89.9 million) to UNRWA. Germany is the Agency’s fifth largest donor and has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 2005.
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 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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.
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