UNRWA Requires US$ 149 million in 2020 for operations in Jordan

05 February 2020
Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Mr. Mohammed Adar (center), Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (right) and the Director of Planning Sam Rose launched the 2020 budget appeal for US$ 149 million. 2020 UNRWA photo by Dania Al Batanyeh.

The Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Jordan, Mr. Mohammed Adar, today called for a minimum of US$ 149 million to fund the Agency’s essential services and assistance, including education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement and microfinance, for 2.3 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan for the year 2020. Some 17,000 Palestine refugees from Syria will also benefit from these services.

The presentation of the Jordan Field priorities and financial requirements for 2020 comes in the wake of the recent extension by the United Nations General Assembly of the UNRWA mandate for another three years until June 2023.

“Last year, we faced the most serious financial shortfall in the history of the Agency and a crisis of confidence in the Agency’s senior leadership. Despite the challenging political environment and difficult socio-economic conditions, the generous support of the host country, Jordan, and that of donors and partners allowed us to continue providing essential services to Palestine refugees,” said Mr. Adar. “I would like to put on record our profound appreciation and gratitude for the unwavering support that the Government of Jordan affords to Palestine refugees and to UNRWA.”

In 2019, UNRWA in Jordan provided education services to over 118,000 students attending 169 UNRWA schools distributed around the Kingdom, offered 47 course to 3,081 students studying at one of the two vocational training centres, delivered health services to more than 1.2 million at its 25 Health clinics and four mobile dental units, and supported nearly 59,000 individuals with cash assistance from the Agency through social safety net (SSN).

A recurrent financial crisis and a difficult funding environment clash with the continuously increasing needs of Palestine refugees, leading to challenges such as  double shift and overcrowded classes in the Agency’s schools tons of garbage being to be removed daily due to growing urbanization and proliferation of small-scale informal businesses and pressure on the UNRWA health centers and pharmacies.

Earlier this week, the Acting Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr. Christian Saunders, called for a minimum of US$ 1.4 billion to fund the Agency’s essential services and assistance, including life-saving humanitarian aid and priority projects, for 5.6 million registered Palestine refugees across the Middle East for the year 2020.

In 2020, Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria will continue to face a range of daunting human development and protection challenges. Central to these pressures is the ongoing occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the blockade of Gaza, the continuing conflict in Syria, the political crisis in Lebanon and the growing needs in Jordan, all of which continue to dramatically impact the lives of Palestine refugees.

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 5.6 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
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140