9 May 2013
U.S. Secretary of State today announced a new contribution of USD 8.4 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for its programmes assisting refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The funds will help UNRWA respond to the critical needs of Palestine refugees affected or displaced by the Syrian conflict. This donation brings the total United States contribution to UNRWA’s Syria Response to USD 32.4 million making the United States the largest bilateral contributor to UNRWA’s appeal for the Syria crisis.
Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard noted, “The violence in Syria has impacted Palestinians and Syrians alike. The United States remains committed to working through UNRWA to help Palestinian refugees get the shelter, food and medicine they need.”
The Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi, thanked the U.S. government for its generous support. “With this crisis affecting three of the five areas where we work, this contribution comes at a critical time and will have a direct impact on some of the most disadvantaged victims of the conflict in Syria.”
UNRWA is providing food, cash, emergency housing grants, education, health and relief and social services to some 420,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria, and to approximately 45,000 who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. In 2012 the United States was the largest donor to UNRWA, contributing over USD 233 million to the Agency.
The total pledged amount against the 2013 Response Plan now stands at USD 58.93 million, equivalent to 64.6% of the total budget of USD 91.24 million.
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$ 72 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724