Japan supports UNRWA’s Gaza Flash Appeal

13 January 2009

13 January 2009

The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 3 million to UNRWA in response to its Flash Appeal for Gaza. This contribution is part of a package of US$10 million in aid, which was announced on 3 January by Prime Minister, Mr. Taro Aso. The assistance will mainly consist of food commodities. It will help UNRWA alleviate the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Japan has been a long-time partner of UNRWA, supporting all the Agency’s funds and efforts in all its five fields of operation. Over the last eight years, Japan has contributed a total of $136 million. The Commissioner-General expressed her gratitude for the timely and generous donation of the Government of Japan. She said: "We know that we can count on the support of this country, especially in times of crisis. Japan has always been a friend of UNRWA."

Japan traditionally supports UNRWA’s Food Aid activities for the poorest of the refugees in the region. Its contribution to this programme in 2008 amounted to over US$ 5.7 million. The government of Japan has also assisted UNRWA’s Emergencies in Lebanon and has recently provided staff to the Agency.

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.

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