Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) visits Japan

08 October 2022
UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini meets with H.E. Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs , Tokyo, October 2022

EAST JERUSALEM, 8 October 2022- The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, concluded an official visit to Tokyo from 5 - 7 October, during which he met with Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Yoshimasa Hayashi, numerous senior Japanese and UN officials, and Arab ambassadors based in Japan. The Commissioner-General highlighted the critical situation of Palestine refugees and the Agency’s financial crisis, and discussed ways to mobilize sustainable support.

During the meetings, Mr. Lazzarini commended the political support of Japan to Palestine refugees and UNRWA and briefed his interlocutors on the deteriorating conditions of Palestine refugees across the region. The Commissioner-General asked for continued Japanese solidarity with Palestine refugees, especially during this mandate renewal year and in light of the 70th anniversary of Japan-UNRWA relations in 2023.

"Japan is among UNRWA’s most critical political and financial supporters” said Mr. Lazzarini. “Such consistent support is the corner stone on which UNRWA’s work with and for Palestine refugees rests. I thank the Government of Japan for its kindness and generosity towards those suffering from the world’s most protracted refugee crisis. I look forward to continuing our cooperation.”

The Government of Japan is a dedicated donor to UNRWA, having supported the Agency since 1953. In 2021, the Government of Japan was the 5th largest contributor to the Agency. It is thanks to the enduring support of donors like the Government of Japan that the Agency is able to provide vital services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East in the face of its continuing challenges. 


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Background Information: 


UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to  the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.


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