Iraq donates $2 million for Palestine refugees

29 July 2011

29 July 2011

UNRWA has received a contribution of US$ 2 million from the Government of Iraq towards the Agency’s core programmes.

Iraq’s resumed contribution to the Agency comes at a time when UNRWA is facing a chronic deficit in its core budget to provide services such as health, education and relief to the over 4.8 million registered refugees under UNRWA’s care.

Welcoming the contribution, UNRWA Commissioner-General, Mr Filippo Grandi said: “We are delighted to receive this donation from the Government of Iraq, a valuable contributor to the Agency in the past. The resumption of annual payments to the Agency comes at a particular time of need for both the Agency and the refugees, and we look forward to deepening this reestablishment of cooperation between UNRWA and the Republic of Iraq.”

Iraq had previously been a steady supporter to the Agency, contributing in the region of US$ 12 million over the course of the 1980s. The new contribution puts Iraq among the top Arab donors to UNRWA‘s regular annual budget.

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact: