Today, Norway disbursed NOK 40 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This brings Norway’s total contribution to UNRWA for 2021 to NOK 257 million.
‘UNRWA plays a key role in meeting the basic needs of Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. It also helps to maintain stability in the region. The fact that the agency did not receive sufficient funding to pay its employees’ salaries this year is cause for concern. We have decided to increase our contribution and call on other donors to do the same,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
UNRWA’s task is to ensure that the basic needs of Palestine refugees are met and their rights adequately safeguarded. Under its mandate, UNRWA provides assistance to over 5.7 million Palestine refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza, and ensures that they have access to essential services such as education, healthcare, food aid and shelter. The organisation is also a significant employer of Palestine refugees.
‘Refugees are one of the groups that have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important that we provide support for, and show our solidarity with, this vulnerable group,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.