UNRWA Thanks Valladolid for Continued Support

07 November 2013

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is grateful to the Valladolid Regional Government, in Spain, for supporting the Agency's Syria response plan for a second time in 2013. 

The new contribution from Valladolid, of EUR 15,200 (US$ 20,500) will enable UNRWA to purchase 186 baby kits for vulnerable Palestine refugee families who have sought shelter from the ongoing conflict in UNRWA facilities in Syria. The kits, which include blankets, swaddles, shampoo, soap and towels, among other items, will help improve the living conditions of nearly 200 children less than 1 year old. 

As the conflict in Syria continues, its humanitarian consequences have become increasingly severe. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes, including over half of the country's 529,000 Palestine refugees. Over 230,000 have been displaced within Syria itself, while over 60,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan. 

The ongoing conflict has presented one of the most trying challenges the Agency has faced in the over 60 years since it was first established to support Palestine refugees. The continued support of partners such as the Valladolid Regional government has been essential in allowing UNRWA to continue providing this vulnerable community with the support and assistance they require. 

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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.

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