ABU DHABI, 19th October, 2020 (WAM) -- Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, has affirmed during her meeting with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, that the UAE was one of the first countries to provide support to UNRWA. Moreover, the minister underscored that the UAE believes in the role that UNRWA plays in improving the lives of Palestinian refugees and stressed that the UAE's long-standing, historic, and unwavering commitment to the Palestinian people contributes to maintaining regional security and stability.
Furthermore, she emphasised the need for cooperation, particularly against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires additional efforts to support approximately 5.6 million Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East. Al Hashemy praised the tireless efforts of the UNRWA Commissioner-General and staff to ensure that the agency continues to serve Palestinian refugees.
She also stressed the UAE's commitment to fulfilling its duty to support urgent humanitarian causes around the world, standing with the Palestinian people, contributing to the provision of basic services such as education, and continuing to work with international partners and relevant UN institutions in this regard.
Between 2013 and 2020, the UAE provided Palestinians with more than US$840 million, $218 million of which was allocated to UNRWA, $166 million to the education sector, and $19 million to humanitarian assistance and social services-oriented programs in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
The UAE is chairing the current session of the UNRWA Advisory Committee and aims to focus during its 2020-2021 presidency on key areas such as the digitisation of education; empowering women, girls, and youth; and environmental sustainability.