8 October 2013
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is grateful to the Government of Japan for a generous contribution of US$ 5 million to help the Agency continue responding to the emergency caused by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
At a press conference at the Kalandia Training Centre, UNRWA and Japan celebrated this new milestone in a long-standing partnership, along with Ahmad Hanoun, Director-General of the Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Junya Matsuura, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, said: "We are committed to providing support and help to the Palestine refugee community. Therefore, our relationship with UNRWA is extremely important to us. Working together, Japan and UNRWA can make substantial improvements in the lives of this vulnerable community."
Mr Matsuura explained that of the new contribution, US$ 3.5 million will be used to provide cash assistance, non-food items and hygiene kits within Syria itself. The remainder will provide cash assistance, textbooks and primary health services to some of the over 60,000 Palestine refugees from Syria who have sought safety in Lebanon. The funding will also support training materials for UNRWA teachers, to help them better address the needs of PRS students.
Salvatore Lombardo, UNRWA Director of External Relations, thanked Representative Matsuura. He noted that the new contribution brings total Japanese support for the Agency's Syria appeal alone to US$ 10 million. The Government of Japan has also provided emergency support in Gaza and generous support to core UNRWA services including education and health; in 2012 alone, the Agency received a total of US$ 22.44 million from Japan. He said: "UNRWA depends on the kind of support we have always received from Japan. As Palestine refugees face an incredible challenge from the conflict in Syria, we continue to rely on this important relationship."
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