Belgium Contributes US$ 8M to Support Palestine Refugees

05 September 2013
Belgium Contributes US$ 8M to Support Palestine Refugees

The Kingdom of Belgium has announced a new contribution of EUR 6 million (US$ 8 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The latest contribution has been made to the Agency’s General Fund, which supports the vital services that UNRWA provides to some 5 million Palestine refugees. The funds include EUR 2 million (US$ 2.65 million) in support of the UNRWA social safety net, which provides important food and cash assistance for nearly 300,000 particularly vulnerable Palestine refugees.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi noted that Belgium has been one of the most supportive and reliable UNRWA donors. He said: “At this critical moment, we are extremely grateful to the Government and the people of Belgium for their committed support, which is crucial to maintaining regional stability and supporting the health, education and relief services that UNRWA offers to the Palestine refugee community.”

Since 2007, Belgium has contributed over US$ 70 million to the Agency. Reflecting its standing as a major partner, Belgium has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 1953.

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Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection 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)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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