Support from UAE for Palestine Refugees in Syria

04 April 2014
Support from UAE for Palestine Refugees in Syria


The Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, welcomed the announcement, earlier this week, of a US$ 15 million contribution from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support UNRWA emergency programmes in Syria.

Shaikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development, announced on 1 April that of the total US$ 50 million UAE pledge for UN operations inside Syria, US$ 15 million was for UNRWA.

Mr. Krähenbühl said: "This generous pledge from the UAE will help UNRWA to deliver crucial assistance to the suffering people of Yarmouk and other Palestine refugee camps in Syria. We appreciate the trust that the UAE has placed in us to deliver aid inside Syria. With our 3,700 workers, we are managing to deliver assistance to almost 400,000 Palestinians in Syria.”

Reflecting on the extent of the suffering, the Commissioner-General added: “More than half of the Palestinians have been displaced, and many have lost their livelihoods. In Yarmouk, we have managed in recent days to get food in and a few sick people out, but now operations are interrupted again. We need to have consistent access and this is what we are pressing for all the time.”

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724