Japan Contributes Over US$ 22.4 Million for Health, Education and Emergency Humanitarian Assistance

27 February 2020
The Representative of Japan to Palestine, Mr. Masayuki Magoshi (left), and Mr. Christian Saunders, Acting UNRWA Commissioner-General (right), signed a contribution agreement in the amount of US$22.4 million in support of UNRWA services for Palestine refugees at UNRWA headquarters in East Jerusalem on 27 January 2020. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Marwan Baghdadi.

The Government of Japan today signed a contribution agreement for the amount of US$ 22.4 million with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The event took place in East Jerusalem in the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Representative of Japan to Palestine, and Mr. Christian Saunders, Acting UNRWA Commissioner-General.

This important contribution will provide vital funding for UNRWA service delivery to Palestine refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Of the total donation, more than US$ 4.2 million will support UNRWA in Syria for 2020, and US$ 7.6 million are allocated to the Agency’s Emergency Response for Humanitarian Assistance in 2020 in Gaza. Furthermore, US$ 2.8 million will be allocated to support Palestine refugee families by creating more than 2,000 temporary job opportunities in Gaza as part of the Emergency Appeal for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Additional funds are allocated towards the delivery of health services in Syria and Lebanon and basic education services in Lebanon and Jordan, including technical and educational vocational training (TVET).

“I am glad that this contribution supports UNRWA’s important activities in all five areas of its operations. This contribution demonstrates Japan’s strong commitment to support UNRWA and its essential operations to assist Palestine refugees,” H.E. Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Representative of Japan to Palestine, said.

Acting Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr. Christian Saunders, said, “The Government of Japan’s support to UNRWA is extremely timely and generous. It’s this kind of support that is particularly useful to the Agency as it allows UNRWA to advance in several very critical areas including health, education, our emergency humanitarian response program and sustainable development.”

The Government of Japan is a long-standing partner to UNRWA, with a partnership dating back to 1953. In 2019, the Government of Japan was the 8th largest contributor to UNRWA, playing a critical role for the Agency’s financial stability. Thanks to donors like Japan, UNRWA continues to provide quality education, basic health care, protection and social services to Palestine refugees in its five fields of operation toward a human development goal of zero poverty by 2030, in line with the United Nations Decade of Action.

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