JERUSALEM, April 27, 2018 (WAFA) - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) ‘warmly’ welcomed a $50 million contribution announced upon the directives of the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“This remarkable support by the United Arab Emirates comes as UNRWA faces the most serious financial crisis in its history. It represents an important step towards preserving UNRWA‘s crucial services to 5.4 million Palestine refugees in the Middle East,” said UNRWA in a press release on Friday.
Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl commended this unprecedented decision, saying: "The UAE is a valued and dynamic partner, standing with UNRWA and for the dignity and rights of Palestine Refugees.”
Krähenbühl expressed immense gratitude for this outstanding announcement, which he stressed “confirms the UAE‘s commitment to our mandate and the preservation of hope for Palestine Refugees."
"I would like to take this opportunity to honour the UAE on the occasion of the ‘Year of Zayed‘, marking a centenary since the birth of its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan." Krähenbühl added.
Since its establishment in 1972, the UAE has been a consistent supporter of the UNRWA education program. Its funding has grown significantly in recent years and allowed to keep schools open and preserve access to education for 526,000 girls and boys - among them 270,000 in the Gaza Strip alone.
"The UAE is an ardent supporter of UNRWA and the life-saving work that the organization accomplishes for the Palestinian people. We pledge to provide an additional US$ 50 million to mainly support UNRWA‘s education and health care activities," said Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy.
The partnership plays an important role in empowering Palestine Refugee youth, developing skills and preserving opportunities. In a Middle East marked by instability and radicalization, the ongoing investment in UNRWA‘s mandated activities is of vital importance, said the release.
The UAE‘s trust in the Agency is a source of encouragement and incentive to strive for innovation and creativity, added the release.
"We believe that the Agency‘s strategic human development priorities and humanitarian activities are fit for the purposes to help Palestine refugees acquire knowledge and skills, lead long and healthy lives, achieve decent standards of living and enjoy human rights to the fullest possible extent,” said Al Hashimy.
She stressed that this assistance to UNRWA aligns with the UAE‘s foreign assistance policy and its prioritization of rights to children, to education, to women‘s empowerment and support and vocational training to teachers."
UNRWA also enjoys strong partnerships with Dubai Cares and the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, in addition to other institutions in the UAE. The Agency looks forward to further developing this essential cooperation, concluded the release.