UNRWA and Japan Celebrate Partnership

08 October 2013
UNRWA and Japan Celebrate Partnership

8 October 2013
East Jerusalem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is grateful to the Government of Japan for a generous contribution of US$ 5 million to help the Agency continue responding to the emergency caused by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

At a press conference at the Kalandia Training Centre, UNRWA and Japan celebrated this new milestone in a long-standing partnership, along with Ahmad Hanoun, Director-General of the Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Junya Matsuura, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, said: "We are committed to providing support and help to the Palestine refugee community. Therefore, our relationship with UNRWA is extremely important to us. Working together, Japan and UNRWA can make substantial improvements in the lives of this vulnerable community."

Mr Matsuura explained that of the new contribution, US$ 3.5 million will be used to provide cash assistance, non-food items and hygiene kits within Syria itself. The remainder will provide cash assistance, textbooks and primary health services to some of the over 60,000 Palestine refugees from Syria who have sought safety in Lebanon. The funding will also support training materials for UNRWA teachers, to help them better address the needs of PRS students.

Salvatore Lombardo, UNRWA Director of External Relations, thanked Representative Matsuura. He noted that the new contribution brings total Japanese support for the Agency's Syria appeal alone to US$ 10 million. The Government of Japan has also provided emergency support in Gaza and generous support to core UNRWA services including education and health; in 2012 alone, the Agency received a total of US$ 22.44 million from Japan. He said: "UNRWA depends on the kind of support we have always received from Japan. As Palestine refugees face an incredible challenge from the conflict in Syria, we continue to rely on this important relationship."

– Ends –

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
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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