Japan’s Contribution Protects UNRWA Frontline Health Workers and Prevents Spread of COVID-19 among Palestine Refugees

23 June 2020
An UNRWA dentist gives a dental check-up to a young Palestine refugee girl at an UNRWA health centre in Syria. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Ibrahim Miari

In June 2020, the Government of Japan contributed over US$ 1.5 million to support efforts by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic across its five fields of operations in Gaza, West Bank including East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The generous contribution from Japan enables UNRWA to continue to provide primary health care to Palestine refugees. It will also allow the Agency to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns, gloves, protective goggles and face shields, to 3,000 health-care workers who are at the frontline of the Agency’s response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in all UNRWA 141 health centres.

In partnership with strong supporters, like Japan, UNRWA continues its efforts to protect the safety of frontline workers and further prevent spread of COVID-19, while continuing to provide life-saving primary health care to Palestine refugees.

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 5.6 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.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140