Support from UAE for Palestine Refugees in Syria
The Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, welcomed the announcement, earlier this week, of a US$ 15 million contribution from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support UNRWA emergency programmes in Syria.
Shaikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development, announced on 1 April that of the total US$ 50 million UAE pledge for UN operations inside Syria, US$ 15 million was for UNRWA.
Mr. Krähenbühl said: "This generous pledge from the UAE will help UNRWA to deliver crucial assistance to the suffering people of Yarmouk and other Palestine refugee camps in Syria. We appreciate the trust that the UAE has placed in us to deliver aid inside Syria. With our 3,700 workers, we are managing to deliver assistance to almost 400,000 Palestinians in Syria.”
Reflecting on the extent of the suffering, the Commissioner-General added: “More than half of the Palestinians have been displaced, and many have lost their livelihoods. In Yarmouk, we have managed in recent days to get food in and a few sick people out, but now operations are interrupted again. We need to have consistent access and this is what we are pressing for all the time.”
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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