Saudi Arabia Contributes US$ 10M for Palestine Refugees from Syria

10 September 2013
Saudi Arabia Contributes US$ 10M for Palestine Refugees from Syria

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has responded to the Syria Appeal of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) with a generous donation of US$ 10 million, through its Saudi Fund for Development.

The ongoing conflict in Syria is increasingly encroaching on UNRWA camps, and the Agency estimates that over half of the 529,000 Palestine refugees in Syria are now displaced, either within Syria or to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan . The Saudi contribution will support UNRWA efforts to continue delivering food and cash assistance, as well as emergency relief, health and education services to the Palestine refugee population.

Welcoming the donation, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “With the areas of Syria where most Palestinians live seeing intensified fighting, the number of Palestine refugees displaced and destitute is growing by the day. Once again, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its commitment to mitigating the suffering of Palestine refugees.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the major UNRWA donors. As the Agency’s foremost Arab partner, Saudi Arabia has provided consistent support to the Agency’s work in health, education, and relief and social services. It has also contributed to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, in Lebanon , and to a flagship project to rehouse Palestine refugees in Rafah, Gaza . Phase I of that project was inaugurated in February 2013.

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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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