JERUSALEM, May 1, 2018 (WAFA) - The Government of Japan announced on Tuesday a contribution of $10 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support the provision of vital services for Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria.
An UNRWA press release said this generous additional contribution from Japan will provide Palestine refugees from Syria health support and emergency cash and food assistance, among other services, through UNRWA’s operations in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, welcomed this timely support: “We deeply appreciate this generous donation from the Government of Japan during this time of urgent need. The $409 million Syria emergency appeal the Agency launched earlier this year remains largely underfunded. This vital support will enable UNRWA to provide emergency aid to Palestinian refugee families affected by the war in Syria.”
Japan has long been a valued donor to UNRWA. In 2017 alone Japan contributed a total of $43.3 million, including some $23 million to the Agency’s core programs and services, $8.7 million to support the Agency’s emergency programs in Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, and $11.5 million for essential projects.
Japan was among the top 7 donors and, since 1973, has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, which advises and assists the UNRWA Commissioner-General in carrying out the Agency’s mandate.
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 program budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA emergency programs 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.