6 December 2012
In response to conflict in the Gaza Strip in November, the Government of Malaysia has contributed USD 1 million to support operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the blockaded territory. An earlier contribution of USD 200,000 last month supports the Agency’s regular services throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
Announcing the donation to the media on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the latest contribution was an essential element of the country’s continued assistance to Palestine refugees.
“We hope and pray for a quick and lasting resolution to this historical injustice,” he said. “In the meantime, Malaysia will continue to help the Palestinian people, whether in cash or in kind.”
Welcoming the donation, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza Field Office Robert Turner said: “We are very happy that the Malaysian Government has responded so quickly to the needs of Palestine refugees in Gaza, and note with great appreciation that this is the largest donation from the Malaysian government so far.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Malaysia,” he added, “working hand-in-hand to support the needs of Palestine refugees throughout all of UNRWA’s fields of operations.”
Between 2009 and 2011, the Government of Malaysia contributed USD 350,000 to support UNRWA’s programmes, making the considerably larger size of this year’s donation particularly noteworthy. It has also been a strong vocal supporter of the Agency, having consistently expressed its support for a just resolution to the Palestinian problem.
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, microfinance and emergency assistance.
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, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.
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