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UNRWA Welcomes Additional US$ 2 Million Contribution from Kuwait
9 May 2022
The Government of Kuwait contributed US$ 2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Sunday. The Ambassador of Kuwait to Jordan, His Excellency Aziz al-Dehani, presented UNRWA Acting Director of External Relations Tamara Alrifai with the donation cheque at the Embassy of Kuwait in Amman.
This funding is in addition to an earlier US$ 10 million contribution to the Agency for 2022 in support of its core Programme Budget for essential services including health care, education, and relief and social services. The Agency serves Palestine refugees across its five field of operation in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The Ambassador of Kuwait to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H.E. Aziz al-Dehani, said, “This donation from the Government of Kuwait was aimed at strengthening UNRWA activities and programmes in the region for some five million Palestinian refugees. It comes in accordance with the permanent directives of the high political leadership and on the instructions of the Kuwaiti government, stressing the ‘firm’ position of the State of Kuwait on supporting the Palestinian cause and committing to support the humanitarian situation of Palestine refugees in the region.” In this context, he praised the Agency’s role and efforts in providing basic services such as health and education to Palestinian refugees in its areas of operations, noting the affirmation of Kuwait’s efforts to partner with UN organizations and cooperate constructively with them in order to achieve the development goals of communities.
“With this additional contribution, Kuwait shows Palestine refugees that its long-standing support is still firm,” said Tamara Alrifai. “UNRWA is truly grateful to Kuwait’s government and people for their generosity and solidarity. In times of acute financial crisis like the one that UNRWA is facing now, this additional contribution is very welcome and will hopefully encourage other partners to come forward.”
UNRWA is facing immense financial challenges that threaten its ability to maintain all services. It is calling on governments, donors and partners to continue their support to Palestine refugees, who rely almost entirely on the Agency for their daily needs. Sufficient funding to UNRWA will enable it to carry out its mandate and maintain all critical services, contributing to the wellbeing and feeling of stability of Palestine refugees.
Kuwait has long been an important partner to UNRWA and Palestine refugees. Since 2000, contributions from Kuwait to the Agency have neared US$ 215 million, including US$ 65 million for UNRWA emergency operations in Syria. This vital support from the Government of Kuwait and Kuwait-based organizations such as the International Islamic Charity Organization, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Kuwait Red Crescent enables UNRWA to continue to provide essential services to some 5.8 million Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
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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 5.7 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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