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Government of Austria Contributes EUR 4.7 Million to UNRWA
Today, the Government of Austria contributed EUR 2.7 million in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Health Programme in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. It also supported the Agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal with EUR 2 million.
Austria’s generous contribution enables UNRWA to continue providing health services through 65 clinics in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The basic health system that UNRWA runs in these areas is under immense pressure due to increasing needs among Palestine refugees, high levels of poverty, increased violence in places, and COVID-19.
In addition to this support to the health programme, Austria’s contribution to the UNRWA office in Syria enables the Agency to provide three months’ worth of cash assistance to 30,500 people. These include female-headed households, families headed by a disabled person and people with disabilities, the elderly and unaccompanied minors. Cash assistance is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in Syria, most of them twice displaced and in acute need of support.
“Austria reiterates its firm partnership with UNRWA by increasing our long-standing support to the Health Programme in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) on one hand, as well as by renewing our support to the Syria Emergency Appeal in the provision of humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria. We fully acknowledge UNRWA’s role in providing critical humanitarian services to Palestine refugees.” said Ms. Astrid Wein, the Austrian Representative in Ramallah.
“On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to express my gratitude to Austria, a strong and reliable supporter to Palestine refugees and our work. This contribution will allow us to continue providing critical health services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and much needed cash to families in desperate need in war-torn Syria,” said Tamara Alrifai, the UNRWA Director of External Relations and Communications.
This year, Austria contributed EUR 6.1 million, of which EUR 400,000 to the UNRWA Programme Budget, EUR 2.7 to the Health Programme as part of the multi-year agreement and additional, EUR 1 million to the occupied Palestine territory Emergency Appeal and EUR 2 million to the Syria Emergency Appeal.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. Thousands of Palestine refugees who lost both their homes and livelihood because of the 1948 conflict have remained displaced and in need of significant support for over seventy years. UNRWA helps them 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.
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