23 May 2024
Director of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Yasuhiko Uekusa, Japanese Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Oka Hiroshi, and Sahar Al-Jobury, Chief of the UNRWA Representative Office in Cairo. © 2024 UNRWA Photo

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In a reaffirmation of its longstanding commitment to supporting Palestine Refugees, and to UNRWA’s indispensable role in the Gaza Strip, the Government of Japan has  donated essential emergency aid, including blankets, water containers, plastic sheets, and sleeping mats, for the Agency’s humanitarian response in Gaza

In a handover event hosted by his country’s Embassy in Cairo, Ambassador Oka Hiroshi said:  "Since the outbreak of the current crisis in Gaza last October, UNRWA has consistently been at the forefront of humanitarian assistance activities."

The event underscored the robust partnership between Japan and UNRWA and highlighted the grave humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Gaza. This crisis has been exacerbated by significant barriers to aid delivery, leading to intensified food and water insecurity, malnutrition, and severe disruptions to health and sanitation services.

Sahar Al-Jobury, Chief of the UNRWA Representative Office in Cairo, expressed profound gratitude for Japan's support and partnership, and deeply regretted the challenges in delivering the aid. "Rafah Crossing remains closed, and Karem Abu Salem is unsafe to access as it is located near or in combat zones. As a result, the flow of supplies into southern Gaza has been severely restricted. Since 6 May, only 143 aid trucks have made it through," she said.

Al-Jobury also commended Japan’s resumption of its funding to UNRWA with a recent contribution of US$ 35 million from the government’s supplementary budget for this year.

Also present was Yasuhiko Uekusa, Director of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, who traveled from Tokyo specifically for the occasion. He reiterated Japan’s commitment to alleviating the humanitarian situation in Gaza, saying, "In close cooperation with UNRWA, as well as relevant countries and international organizations, Japan will continue to make utmost efforts to improve the humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip."

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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.

Your support is crucial to help us provide emergency aid 
to displaced families in Gaza

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