Japan Contributes Approximately US$ 4.3 Million for Food Assistance to Palestine Refugees

19 October 2020
H.E. Ambassador Mr. MAGOSHI Masayuki from the Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority and Mr. Sami Mshasha, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of External Relations and Communication and Director of Communication of UNRWA sign a contribution agreement in support of Palestine refugees in Jerusalem. © 2020 UNRWA photo by Marwan Baghdadi

The Government of Japan today signed a contribution agreement amounting to 450,000,000 Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 4.3 million) with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

This important contribution will enable UNRWA to continue to provide food assistance to 99,000 Palestine refugees in Gaza, aiming to mitigate the impact of poverty and food insecurity of those most in need, especially under the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am very happy to share with you that the Government of Japan has decided to contribute approximately US$ 4.3 million to UNRWA at this critical time. This contribution represents our determined commitment and solidarity to Palestine refugees at a time when the region is experiencing serious humanitarian crisis,” H.E. Ambassador Mr. MAGOSHI Masayuki said.

Mr. Sami Mshasha, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of External Relations and Communication and Director of Communication of UNRWA, said: “On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank the Government of Japan for its generous contribution for supporting Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. The Government of Japan has been exemplary in its support to the Agency. We deeply appreciate this very generous support during an exceptionally challenging period of its existence to assist the vulnerable community.”

The Government of Japan is a dedicated donor to UNRWA, having supported the Agency since 1953. In 2019, the Government of Japan was the 8th largest contributor to the Agency, playing a critical role at a time when UNRWA faced an existential crisis. It is thanks to the enduring support of donors like the Government of Japan that the Agency is able to provide vital services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East in the face of its continuing challenges. 

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
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+962 (0)79 090 0140