At the Kalandia Training Centre in Ramallah, Margot Ellis, Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), accepted a generous contribution of approximately US$ 16 million from Junya Matsuura, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative to the Palestinian Authority of the Government of Japan.
"This will prove to be another challenging year for the Agency," Ms. Ellis noted, "and even more challenging for Palestine refugees all across the region. The reliable and generous support we have received from Japan has been crucial in allowing UNRWA to maintain both essential services in education and health, as well as to respond to the pressing emergencies that have created desperate and urgent needs."
Of the total Japanese contribution, the majority, US$ 10 million, will support UNRWA health activities for Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory. Approximately US$ 3.7 million will help the Agency provide emergency food, health and education services in Syria, while US$ 2.3 million will support the UNRWA response to the needs of Palestine refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Some 2.25 million Palestine refugees across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria and Lebanon will benefit.
Ambassador Matsuura emphasized Japan's continued support to the Palestine refugee community. He said: "We in Japan are committed to helping Palestine refugees have access to the support and the services they need. These things - education, food, health care - are basic, but it is only with these needs fulfilled that they can work towards a brighter year."
The Government of Japan has been a major UNRWA partner for many years, and has responded generously to support UNRWA programmes throughout the region. As a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 1973, Japan has also provided vital advice and support to the Agency's Commissioner-General.