On 15 July 2020, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) received a contribution of EUR 15 million from Germany through KfW Development Bank for education and health services in Jordan and Lebanon. The release of this contribution followed the signature of a Financing Agreement which took place on 29 June 2020.
Highlighting Germany’s strong commitment to the Agency, this contribution allows for the continued provision of education and basic health services for Palestine refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, thus fostering the resilience of the Palestine refugee community affected by the Syria conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges in Lebanon and Jordan.
“Education is key for the future of young people. In my visits to UNRWA schools and training centers in Jordan I have witnessed very motivated pupils and teachers. I commend the efforts of UNRWA, particularly in the education sector, as well as the generous support the Jordanian government is providing,” H.E. Birgitta Siefker-Eberle, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, said. German Chargé d’Affaires in Lebanon, Dr. Michael Reuss, highlighted that “Basic health services provided by UNRWA health staff are crucial for many Palestine refugees in Lebanon, especially against the backdrop of the rapidly worsening economic situation in Lebanon.”
“The Federal Republic of Germany has relentlessly showed its commitment to the well-being of Palestine refugees and we greatly value this strategic partnership. This generous contribution from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank, will contribute to the overall human development of Palestine refugees, especially those most vulnerable, by maintaining undisrupted education and primary healthcare services in the targeted geographic areas,” said Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Chief Donor Relations.
The Government of Germany was the Agency’s largest donor in 2019 contributing more than EUR 152 million towards UNRWA operations. The Agency is deeply grateful for this historic and sustained support, which enables vital frontline services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
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 5.6 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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