Japan supports vital health services in Gaza with USD 10 million to UNRWA

22 February 2012

22 February 2012
Amman, Jordan

Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi with Japanese Ambassador to Jordan H.E. Junichi KosugeThe Government of Japan has donated USD 10 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide funding for 10 health clinics in Gaza in 2012. The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Amman today by Mr. Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, and Mr. Junichi Kosuge, Ambassador of Japan to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi told journalists, “At a time when the government and people of Japan are still under pressure to address needs nearer to home and to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami, their generosity towards the Agency and Palestine refugees is particularly touching. I have always been struck on my trips to Japan since the disaster by the amazing solidarity that exists is between the two peoples.”

Japan is the 11th-largest donor to UNRWA’s core programmes through the General Fund, and also contributes to projects and emergency work. Last year Japan donated over USD 15 million to UNRWA, and has generously supported the reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, which was destroyed in 2007.

With support totalling USD 600 million to date, Japan has long recognized UNRWA as a significant human development actor in the Middle East and as a vehicle of assistance to the Palestinian people. UNRWA provides relief, social services and emergency assistance to five million Palestine refugees in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank. UNRWA’s education system alone provides daily classes for half a million children across the Agency’s five fields of operation.

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Background information

UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for nearly 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by contributions from States. The Agency’s core budget for 2012-2013 stands at USD 1.33 billion. In 2012, emergency appeals for the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon amounted to USD 344.0 million.

For more information please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

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 US$ 68 million.

For more information, please contact:

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