Saudi Arabia donates 15 tonnes of dates to refugees in Lebanon for Ramadan

04 August 2010

03 August 2010

Saudi Arabia donates 15 tonnes of dates to refugees in Lebanon for RamadanThe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated 15 tonnes of dates to UNRWA for Palestine refugees living in Lebanon. The donation comes in time for the upcoming Ramadan period, when the daily fast is traditionally broken with the eating of dates.

The dates were officially handed over at the Saudi Embassy in Beirut in the presence of His Excellency Ali Awad Osseiri, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon, Roger Davies, UNRWA’s Deputy Director in Lebanon, and Abdallah Abdallah, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Lebanon.

The donation marks the continuation of the Kingdom’s policy of humanitarian support to Palestine refugees. The Saudi government has pledged USD$25 million for the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp in northern Lebanon, destroyed during intense fighting in 2007.

As of 2010, the Kingdom has also increased its regular contribution to UNRWA to USD$2 million per year. In addition, since July 2010 the Kingdom has chaired UNRWA’s advisory committee.

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For further information please contact Hoda Samra, UNRWA Public information officer in Lebanon: +961-70-010129 fax: +961-1-840468 or by e-mail:

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 more than US$ 106  million.

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