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Denmark Contributes DKK 25 Million to UNRWA to Support Palestine Refugees in Lebanon
Denmark has contributed DKK 25 million (approximately US$ 3.6 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services in Lebanon. This contribution will help ensure that it can continue to provide basic services in education, health, relief and social services, and camp improvement to Palestine refugees, providing opportunities for their futures and mitigating the incidence and impact of poverty.
The majority of Palestine refugees in Lebanon depend on the Agency’s services as they are unable to access the public systems in Lebanon. Through its presence and continued assistance to Palestine refugees in Lebanon, UNRWA supports some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country. UNRWA, with its established infrastructure, is well placed to deliver not only humanitarian assistance, but also early recovery and human development services, especially through education, to Palestine refugees. UNRWA also provides life-saving humanitarian assistance and ongoing services to Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) living in Lebanon, while continuing to advocate for their collective rights. These services strengthen dignity and provide crucial stability to a community enduring the effects of protracted conflicts and dispossession.
“We are deeply grateful to the Government of Denmark for this generous contribution in support of Palestine refugees in Lebanon,” said Hakam Shahwan, the Acting Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon. “This support will allow us to continue providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in the country, ensuring that their humanitarian and human development needs are met and their rights respected.”
“I am happy that Denmark has been able to make an extra contribution to UNRWA’s important work of trying to make life more tolerable for Palestine refugees,” said Ulla Tørnæs, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. “UNRWA’s work in Lebanon assisting Palestine refugees is crucial, both from a humanitarian perspective and for regional stability. Many of the refugees have fled from the hostilities in Syria and are refugees for a second time.”
Denmark is among the top 20 donors to the Agency’s core programmes and services. In 2016, Denmark contributed a total of US$ 15 million to UNRWA, including US$ 10.5 million to the Programme Budget and US$ 4.5 million to the 2016 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal. Denmark is also a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, which is tasked with advising and assisting the UNRWA Commissioner-General in carrying out the Agency’s mandate.
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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