KUWAIT DONATES US$900,000 TOWARDS LIFE-SAVING ASSISTANCE FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN SYRIA

05 February 2018

Kuwait has announced a donation of US$ 900,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in response to the Agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Appeal. This contribution represents the first pledge towards this appeal this year.  Kuwait’s generous contribution will go towards life-saving assistance provided to the Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria.

The conflict in Syria continues to disrupt the lives of civilians, resulting in death and injuries, internal displacement, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and persistent humanitarian needs. Palestinians are among those worst affected by the conflict. Of the estimated 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria, over 95 per cent (418,000) are in critical need of sustained humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic food and shelter needs. Almost 254,000 are internally displaced, and an estimated 56,600 are trapped in hard-to-reach or inaccessible locations.

“We are deeply grateful to Kuwait for this additional contribution in support of the 2018 Syria Regional Crisis Appeal at a time when a dramatic financial crisis threatens our ability to provide these life-saving services to Palestine refugees in and from Syria,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.  “I would also like to express our gratitude to Kuwait, on behalf of all Palestine refugees, for its advocacy, as recently shown in the UN Security Council, and for encouraging all donors to provide funding to the Agency. Kuwait’s humanitarian leadership is highly valued,” Krähenbühl added.

Kuwait has been a longstanding donor to UNRWA, contributing a total of US$ 55 million over the last five years in support of the Agency’s efforts to assist Palestine refugees in Syria.

In 2018, UNRWA requires US$ 409 million for its humanitarian response to the Syria regional crisis in order to provide aid, including cash assistance, food, water, shelter and medical assistance.  Despite the immense security challenges, UNRWA also provides education to over 47,000 Palestine refugees, supplementing regular classes with psychosocial support and safety-awareness training. For those unable to each our classrooms, UNRWA has developed distance-learning materials.

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:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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