Japanese Ambassador visits Amman Training Center and UNRWA installations in Baqa’a camp

27 May 2009

27 May 2009


His Excellency the Japanese Ambassador to Jordan, Mr. Tetsuo Shioguchi, today visited UNRWA’s Amman Training Center, including the nursing section which was funded by a Japanese contribution of about $250,000. Since the course was introduced in 2004, 76 associate nurses have graduated from it.

In recognition of the Japanese contribution, a ceremony was held at the center with the nursing graduates and their instructors. Speaking at the ceremony, the Ambassador reaffirmed the Japanese government’s commitment to supporting the Agency and its work for Palestine refugees.

Accompanied by the Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, Mr. Richard Cook, the Ambassador also visited an UNRWA rented school building in Nazal neighborhood in Amman and Agency installations in Baqa’a camp.

The tour of Baqa’a included visits to the Japanese-funded school, the Women Programme Center, a refugee shelter, and the Health Center.

Mr. Cook expressed UNRWA’s deepest appreciation for Japan’s continued support for Palestine refugees. “Japan has been a long-time partner of UNRWA, supporting all the Agency’s funds and efforts in all its five fields of operation” said Mr. Cook.

Japan is one of the largest donors to UNRWA’s regular programmes, emergency operations and special projects benefiting more than 4.6 million Palestine refugees registered with the Agency in the region. Its contributions in 2008 amounted to about $14.25 million.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724