UNRWA Commissioner-General meets with Dutch Foreign Minister

01 February 2012

30 January 2012
The Hague, Netherlands

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi was received by the Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal in The Hague. The Commissioner-General briefed the Foreign Minister on UNRWA operations throughout the region, including the Agency‘s reform plans, as well as progress on the Dutch reconstruction project in the Gaza Strip.

He thanked the Foreign Minister for the consistent Dutch support to UNRWA. The Netherlands are UNRWA‘s eighth-largest donor overall and have played a key role in supporting the Agency as a member of its Advisory Commission since 2005.

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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