Japan contributes US$ 7 Million for Emergency Assistance in Syria

08 March 2019
© 2019 UNRWA Photo

The Government of Japan has contributed an additional US$ 7 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). On 4 March, an agreement was jointly signed by the Japanese Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Mr. Takeshi Okubo, and the Chief Donor Relations Division of UNRWA, Mr. Marc Lassouaoui.

Of this important contribution, US$ 4.5 million will enable UNRWA to continue providing health care for Palestine Refugees most in need of assistance in Lebanon. It will support hospitalization to 6,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) and multipurpose cash assistance to those displaced to Lebanon. An additional US$ 1.5 million will contribute to the Agency’s humanitarian response to support Palestine refugees displaced from Yarmouk camp following eight years of conflict in Syria and another US$ 1 million will go towards the provision of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services for nearly 200,000 Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

Ambassador said: “I’m very happy to share with you that the Government of Japan has decided to contribute 7 million US dollars to UNRWA for the project entitled “Emergency Grant Aid in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Lebanon” that is followed by the recent commitment of Japan to contribute USD 23 million to UNRWA from the supplementary budget of FY 2018. We are determined more than ever to send a message to Palestine refugees through the assistance that “A friend in need is a friend indeed. Japan will be there with you.” at a time when the region is experiencing serious humanitarian crisis. With this new assistance, the total value of Japanese assistance to the Palestinian people has already exceeded 1.9 billion US dollars since 1993.”

The Chief Donor Relations said: “On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank Ambassador Okubo for his personal commitment to the Agency and the Palestine refugees.” He added that “The Government of Japan has been exemplary in its support to the Agency. We deeply appreciate this very generous gesture towards this vulnerable community.”

The Government of Japan is a dedicated donor to UNRWA, having supported the Agency since 1953. In 2018, the Government of Japan was the 10th 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 5.4 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.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724