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Denmark announces DKK 30 million contribution towards 2016 Syria regional crisis emergency appeal
The Government of Denmark has announced a generous contribution of DKK 30 million (US$ 4.46 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) towards the 2016 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal. This contribution will help the Agency provide vital humanitarian assistance and emergency services to respond to the needs of Palestine refugees who have been affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria, including those who have been displaced internally or to neighbouring Lebanon.
“The pain and hardship faced by Palestine refugees in Syria is extreme and heartbreaking. Most have faced the loss of relatives and friends, as well as multiple displacements and great instability,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. “We are therefore deeply grateful for this latest contribution from the Danish government, which will be critical in providing for their most pressing needs. The Danish support will make a big difference.”
In 2016, UNRWA is appealing for US$ 414 million to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees affected by the Syria conflict in the region, including cash, food and non-food item assistance; emergency health and education interventions; shelter; and protection. Including this latest contribution from Denmark, the Appeal is currently funded at 30 per cent.
Denmark has long been a consistent supporter of the Agency’s core programmes and services, having contributed US$ 14.1 million to the UNRWA Programme Budget in 2015. Denmark is also the lead sponsor of the Agency’s work to digitize the UNRWA Photo Archive, comprised of more than 500,000 photographic and film assets dating back to 1948 that capture all aspects of the lives and history of Palestine refugees.
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 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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.
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