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First official visit of UNRWA Commissioner-General to The Hague
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl made his first official visit in office to The Hague on 5 March to discuss the cooperation between UNRWA and the Netherlands, and the current situation in UNRWA's Fields of operation. Mr. Krähenbühl met with Mr. Bert Koenders, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament.
During the visit, Mr. Krähenbühl thanked the Government and the people of the Netherlands "for the longstanding and consistent support to Palestine refugees and UNRWA. The Netherlands is a major donor enabling UNRWA to deliver core services such as education, health care and relief to Palestine," Mr. Krähenbühl said.
The Netherlands has been a key contributor to the UNRWA General Fund in 2014, with a contribution of US$ 17.980 million. Its support to various UNRWA emergency appeals in Gaza and the West Bank was near US$ 6 million.
The Netherlands actively supports UNRWA's work on innovation in delivery of services, on the Agency's 2016-2021 Medium Term Strategy and on gender issues.
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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