UNRWA Commissioner-General meets with Dutch Foreign Minister

01 February 2012

30 January 2012
The Hague, Netherlands

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi was received by the Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal in The Hague. The Commissioner-General briefed the Foreign Minister on UNRWA operations throughout the region, including the Agency‘s reform plans, as well as progress on the Dutch reconstruction project in the Gaza Strip.

He thanked the Foreign Minister for the consistent Dutch support to UNRWA. The Netherlands are UNRWA‘s eighth-largest donor overall and have played a key role in supporting the Agency as a member of its Advisory Commission since 2005.

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$ 69 million.

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