The Government of Austria through the Austrian Development Agency has contributed EUR 1 million to support interventions by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) under the 2017 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory.
This unearmarked contribution addresses the urgent financial needs of UNRWA towards the end of the year and will enable the Agency to provide critical services in Gaza, including quality primary education for more than 260,000 students in 267 UNRWA schools, as well as essential primary health care for some 1.35 registered Palestine refugees in Gaza.
“This contribution emphasizes Austria’s sustainable commitment to the UNRWA humanitarian mission for the benefit of the Palestinian people,” stated Dr. Andrea Nasi, Head of Mission at the Austrian Representative Office in Ramallah.
Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Chief of Donor Relations, expressed his gratitude, on behalf of UNRWA, for Austria’s longstanding support to the Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory. “This new donation, which highlights the strong partnership between Austria and UNRWA, will play an important role in offsetting an environment in Gaza characterized by siege, hostilities, poverty and power outages.”
Austria is a long-standing supporter of UNRWA, having contributed EUR 2.8 million in 2018 and in total EUR 23,257,811 (approximately US$ 30.9 million) over the past 10 years.
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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