Germany’s latest contribution of US$10.1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will help provide important assistance in the areas of education, health care, relief and social services, microfinance, infrastructure and camp improvement, and protection. In doing so, it will protect the dignity of Palestine refugees and support the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.
After signing a contribution agreement with the Head of the German Representative Office in Palestine, Christian Clages, Commissioner-General Krähenbühl said that: “Germany’s contribution is both generous and timely. I am grateful for the dynamic partnership with Germany, whose financial support to the Agency is a testimony of a tremendous commitment to the well-being of Palestine refugees.”
Representative Clages underlined the importance of Germany’s financial contribution: “This contribution is a recognition by Germany of the profound role UNRWA plays not only in the delivery of basic human development and humanitarian aid services to Palestine refugees and protection of their basic human rights, but in the advancement of peace and stability in the Middle East region.”
Germany has been a member of UNRWA Advisory Commission since 2005 and has significantly raised its contribution to the Agency in recent years. In 2018, it disbursed a total of US$ 177.4 million to respond to the Agency’s financial crisis, thus becoming the second largest donor to UNRWA after the European Union.
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 5.4 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.
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