US Reaffirms its Support for UNRWA

06 July 2014
US Reaffirms its Support for UNRWA

East Jerusalem

The United States of America has made a generous new contribution of $39,646,589 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The bulk of the new U.S. contribution, $30,466,589, will support UNRWA’s core education, health and social services programmes, benefiting the approximately five million Palestinian refugees registered by UNRWA in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Of this General Fund contribution, $3,954,111 will provide targeted assistance to UNRWA education, health, and protection projects. In addition, the U.S. announced $9,180,000 to support reconstruction work in Gaza.

This new contribution brings the total fiscal year 2014 U.S. contributions to date to more than $250 million, including $135,466,589 for UNRWA’s 2014 General Fund.

Thanking the U.S. for its crucial support, Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said: “We are very grateful to the United States for this new contribution, which will make a major difference to the lives of many thousands of Palestine refugees”. He added: "the United States, which is our largest bilateral donor, has once again shown steadfast and consistent commitment to assisting UNRWA and Palestine refugees”.

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724