22 April 2013
For the first time, Russia has contributed US$ 2 million to the General Fund of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The funds will go towards supporting UNRWA health, education and social services programmes to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in the region.
Announcing the donation, Russian Representative to the Palestinian Authority Alexander Rudakov said: “Our contribution today is aimed at addressing the difficult situation faced by Palestine refugees and mitigating the hardships they endure. Many people’s lives depend on UNRWA’s capacity to provide urgent and necessary help to thousands of Palestine refugees. Amid adversity, UNRWA continues to provide essential services like health and education to refugees in times of crisis.”
Welcoming the contribution, UNRWA Commissioner-General said: “This is the first contribution by Russia of its kind and we very much thank the government for its generosity. We hope to continue improving the Agency’s relationship with Russia, and together, improve the lives of our beneficiaries. Russia’s role as a BRICS member makes its contribution that much more significant, underlying the importance of the continued involvement of BRICS countries in supporting UNRWA’s human development work in the region.”
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.
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UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
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