UNRWA Welcomes US$1m Donation from India

14 October 2009

14 October 2009

East Jerusalem

The government of India has announced that it will contribute US$1m to UNRWA’s operations. The decision was conveyed in a letter to UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Karen Abu Zayd, by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor.

‘I thank the Minister of State and the Government of India for their generous donation’, said Abu Zayd. ‘Coming at a time when UNRWA is marking its 60th anniversary, this contribution signals India’s consistent support for Palestine refugees. It will ensure that the Agency is able to continue its crucial work supporting the human development of Palestine refugees.’

In January 2009, India made a special assistance donation of US$1m to fund relief work in Gaza in response to UNRWA’s flash appeal.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The Agency’s core budget for 2010 and 2011 stands at US$1.23billion.

For more information, please contact:
Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972-(0)54-240-2659
Office: +972-(0)2-589-0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972-(0)54-216-8295
Office: +972 (0)2-589-0724

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: