The Netherlands donates over US$6m for West Bank and Gaza emergency

08 August 2011

8 August 2011
Jerusalem

The Dutch government has made a donation of over US$6m in response to UNRWA’s 2011 emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory.

The contribution of US$6.18m will go towards supporting UNRWA’s emergency work in the West Bank and Gaza, which aims to mitigate the effects on refugees of the deteriorating political, socio-economic and security situation there.

This year’s emergency contribution comes on top of funding for the rehousing of refugees in southern Gaza, as well as a donation of US$18.6m in support of UNRWA’s main programmes: education, health, relief, infrastructure, and microfinance.

The Dutch government was the Agency’s sixth biggest donor last year, with funds going to support the Agency’s main programmes as well as human rights education in Gaza, music teaching in Jordan, and legal aid for Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

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.

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