The Netherlands donates USD 21.6 million to UNRWA

27 August 2012

27 August 2012
East Jerusalem

The Dutch government has made a donation this year of USD 15.9m to UNRWA’s core programming as well as a donation of USD 5.7m in response to UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory.

The donation to UNRWA’s core budget will support the Agency’s education programme including reforms aimed at improving quality and its impact on almost half a million refugee children. In addition, it will fund reforms in UNRWA‘s health programme that are already being felt, including in the West Bank where they are being successfully piloted. It will also support regular relief, infrastructure and camp improvement initiatives.

The Dutch contribution to UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal will support emergency programming in the West Bank and Gaza, which aims to mitigate the effects on refugees of the deteriorating socio-economic and security situation.

“Ultimately, this contribution assists in fulfilling the social-economic human rights of refugees”, said Birgitta Tazelaar, the Netherlands’ Head of Mission in Ramallah. She also hoped that this contribution would be “an incentive for UNRWA to continue delivering these important services in the most efficient and effective way.”

“We are grateful for these contributions to both our core programming and our 2012 Emergency Appeal”, said Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. “At a time of great economic difficulty for our donors, the strong Dutch support for both human development and humanitarian programming is especially appreciated and will go a long way to helping UNRWA deliver its important developmental programmes as well as humanitarian aid to those in the greatest of need.”

Over the course of the last year, the Netherlands has, amongst others, supported a re-housing project for refugees in southern Gaza and a football project designed to promote the psychological well-being of its participants in the West Bank.

The Dutch government is the fifth-largest donor to UNRWA’s emergency programming, and the eighth-largest donor overall.

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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, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

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

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Adviser
Mobile: +970 59 942 8061
Office: +970 8 288 7531
a.abu-hasna@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$ 69 million.

For more information, please contact:

Gaza Emergency Donate Message 2
US$ 40 FEEDS A PERSON TWO DAILY MEALS FOR A WEEK