18 April 2013
Kuwait has given UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) $15 million of its overall pledge of $300 million to the UN to help the organization meet the overwhelming humanitarian needs generated by the crisis in Syria.
UNRWA urgently needs funds to assist 420,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria, and 45,000 who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. About half of the 525,000 Palestinians from Syria are now displaced, most of them originating from the Damascus area, particularly the sprawling Yarmouk Camp. Yarmouk, before the crisis home to over 150,000 Palestinians, is now a battleground, and the majority of its inhabitants have fled. The other camps in the Damascus area are now similarly engulfed by conflict.
Welcoming the donation, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi, said: “This is one of the largest single donations UNRWA has received for what we are doing in Syria and surrounding countries. With this money we will be able to provide critical assistance, such as emergency accommodation to about 8,000 Palestinians and Syrians in some of our schools, and we will be able to keep more schools and health centres open. We are extremely grateful to the Emir, the Government and the people of Kuwait for this timely and generous helping hand.”
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$ 67.2 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724