UNRWA Thanks Castilla y León for Support

27 March 2014

East Jerusalem

The Castilla y León Regional Government has donated EUR 50,000 (US$ 69,165) to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Syria Regional Crisis Response Plan. This contribution will help UNRWA acquire and distribute baby kits for Palestine refugees displaced in Syria.

The ongoing conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011 and has now entered its fourth year, has had a devastating impact on the country’s Palestine refugee community. With more than half of the 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria displaced internally, along with tens of thousands now seeking safety in Lebanon and Jordan, the consequences are being felt across the region.

Young children are among the most vulnerable of refugees, with those under 1 year of age facing specific needs. With the support of Castilla y León, UNRWA aims to purchase approximately 650 baby kits, which include warm clothes and hygiene items suitable for children under 1 year of age whose families are sheltering in UNRWA facilities. As Palestine refugees struggle with extremely difficult circumstances, these baby kits fulfil an important need. Baby kits are a priority among non-food items, as they help displaced families care and provide for their youngest members.

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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.