HRH Prince Nayef Receives UNRWA Distinguished Donor Award

19 December 2009

19 December 2009


HRH Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia, has become the first individual to receive UNRWA’s Distinguished Donor Award.

At a ceremony in Riyadh the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Karen Koning AbuZayd, presented to HRH Prince Nayef the award for his remarkable support to UNRWA demonstrated through the numerous contributions which have been made to UNRWA since 2005 by the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People and the Campaign of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques for Gaza, acting under the directions of His Royal Highness, who is Supervisor-General of the Committee.

The Commissioner-General, who retires as Commissioner-General at the end of this month, expressed her deep gratitude to His Royal Highness, saying “I am delighted that one of my last acts as Commissioner-General of UNRWA is to present this well deserved award to His Royal Highness Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz. The financial and in kind support which the Committee and the Campaign, acting under His Royal Highness’ directions, have given to UNRWA since 2005, worth a total of $17.4 million, demonstrates clearly the deep concern felt by His Royal Highness for Palestine refugees, reflecting the concern of the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the welfare of Palestinians generally, and for their cause, and amply warrants the bestowal for the first time of UNRWA’s Distinguished Donor Award. The donations for Gaza alone in 2009 exceed $10 million, representing the largest donations to UNRWA for Gaza by any non-governmental organisation and one of the largest ever annual contributions to UNRWA by a non-government donor.”

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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.

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