Japan Contributes US$5.5 Million to UNRWA in Support of Palestine Refugees

13 March 2023

East Jerusalem,

The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 5.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of Palestine refugees.

Of the contribution, US$ 5 million is part of the Government of Japan’s Emergency Grant Aid to ensure global food security. This important contribution will allow UNRWA to continue the provision of emergency food assistance to around 1.1 million severely food insecure Palestine refugees in Gaza as well as to approximately 420,000 vulnerable Palestine refugees in Syria. Another US$ 0.5 million is part of Japan’s emergency humanitarian assistance in response to damages caused in Türkiye and Syria by the earthquake. Approximately 12,800 Palestine refugees in Syria affected by the earthquake will benefit from Japan’s generous support.

Ambassador NAKASHIMA Yoichi said, “This rapid response is a gesture of Japan’s support for people in critical need for daily life, as well as those affected by the earthquake in Syria. I would like to express our deep sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims, and our wishes for a speedy recovery for those injured and those affected, directly or indirectly, by this disaster.”

In expressing appreciation for the generous contribution from the Government of Japan, Director of Partnerships in the UNRWA Department of External Relations and Communications, Mr. Karim Amer said, “The timely disbursement of these generous contributions from Japan will provide immediate relief to the urgent needs of Palestine refugees heavily impacted by the earthquake in Syria, and help UNRWA respond with essential, life-saving, food assistance to crisis-affected Palestine refugees in Syria and Gaza. We sincerely thank the Government of Japan for their sustained commitment to the work of UNRWA and to Palestine refugees in times of critical need.”

The Government of Japan is a dedicated donor to UNRWA, having supported the Agency since 1953. 2023 marks 70 years of Japan-UNRWA partnership working with and for Palestine refugees. 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.

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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