UK rewards UNRWA's good performance with new donation

28 October 2010

28 October 2010
Jerusalem

The United Kingdom has donated USD 12.6 million (GBP 8 million) to UNRWA‘s main programmes, which provide health, education, relief and social services to Palestine refugees living in the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The announcement was made yesterday by UK Minister for International Development Alan Duncan, during an official visit to Jerusalem. The Minister announced a contribution of GBP 3 million as a performance bonus, in recognition of UNRWA‘s successful reforms. The Minister also announced the approval of an additional 5 million GBP to help address the Agency‘s massive budget deficit.

UNRWA‘s Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: "This contribution will ensure that UNRWA can continue to provide education to half a million children and provide healthcare to millions more, giving to some of the most disadvantaged in this troubled region a sense of opportunity and hope for a prosperous and dignified future.

“Britain,” he added, was "an exemplary partner of UNRWA, pioneering innovative approaches to funding, including multi-year arrangements. We hope that the UK‘s example will serve as a model for other donors. But above all we are grateful to the people and government of Britain for their generosity, particularly at a time of crisis in the world economy. I reaffirm that we at UNRWA will continue to manage donor funding responsibly, putting effectiveness and value for money at the top of our priorities."

The United Kingdom is the third largest donor to UNRWA. UK contributions to the Agency are governed by a multi-year funding agreement, which since 2007 has enabled the disbursement of more than GBP 105 million to sustain the delivery of essential services to Palestine refugees across UNRWA‘s five fields of operations.

Ends

For more information please contact:

Chris Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: + 972 (0) 54 240 2659
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0) 54 216 8295
s.mshasha@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$ 70.5 million.

For more information, please contact:

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