The Government of the People’s Republic of China made a vital contribution of personal protective equipment including surgical masks, protective face masks, sterilized surgical gloves, medical eye covers, medical protective smocks and face shields to assist Palestine refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This donation will enable UNRWA to better safeguard Palestine refugees from COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria with industry standard safety equipment.
This donation was made possible by China’s International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and directly supports the Agency’s efforts to address the increasing health needs of Palestine refugees due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensures the safe continuity of UNRWA health services to the more than 5.6 million Palestine refugees. This contribution from the Government of China sends a clear message of solidarity to Palestine refugees, who have been made increasingly vulnerable by the pandemic and conflict.
Expressing his appreciation for this significant donation, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said: “This contribution from the People’s Republic of China provides a crucial layer of protection for Palestine refugees, who are fighting the spread of this pandemic within increased hardship across the region.”
In referencing their support to the UNRWA, His Excellency, Head of the Office of the People’s Republic of China to the State of Palestine, Ambassador Guo Wei, said, “China will continue to firmly support the just cause of Palestine, support the work of UNRWA. China call on the international community to provide more support and assistance to Palestine refugees through UNRWA.”
The People’s Republic of China is a valued partner and long-standing donor for UNRWA. In addition to the subject in-kind contribution, China has already pledged US$ 1 million to the support the delivery of emergency food assistance to nearly one million abject and absolute poor Palestine refugees in Gaza.
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.