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Biscay Regional Government of Spain contributes EUR 115,000 to UNRWA’s Syria humanitarian response plan

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The Biscay regional government of Spain has contributed nearly EUR 115,000 to the Syria humanitarian response plan of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides urgent humanitarian assistance to up to 350,000 Palestine refugees and others affected by the conflict in Syria.

As violence, economic hardship and displacement escalate, Palestine refugees in Syria, like their Syrian counterparts, increasingly require assistance. Biscay’s donation will support emergency health services, enabling the Agency to procure and distribute essential medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases at UNRWA’s clinics.

Provisions of the humanitarian response plan include cash assistance, non-food items, and emergency health and education programming for Palestine refugees in Syria and to those who have sought refuge in Lebanon and Jordan. The Agency provides medical care for civilians during and after the conflict.

So far, Biscay had contributed EUR 450,000 to the Agency between 2009 and 2012. The support to UNRWA includes funds for the prevention of the violence against women which includes discussion groups, forums, and workshops, providing victims an opportunity to talk about violence, human rights, and gender roles. Biscay has also supported education programmes that provide youth and women of Gaza with vocational training to help them find employment.

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Background information:
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.

UNRWA currently seeks USD 91,241,416 million through its revised Regional Syria Humanitarian Response Plan to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria and those who have fled across Syria's borders into neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan. The focus of UNRWA's response plan is Syria. The plans seeks USD 75,087,733 million for the six-month period from 1 January to 30 June 2013, to address pressing humanitarian needs in Syria, USD 13,293,528 million to support Palestine refugees who have fled to Lebanon, and USD 2,860,155 million for those currently seeking refuge in Jordan.

UNRWA’s Spanish Comittee works to support UNRWA’s humanitarian programmes and to raise awareness within Spanish society about the varying challenges Palestine refugees face across the Agency’s five fields of operation.

For more information, please contact: Cristina Poveda
Communication and Marketing
UNRWA Spanish Committee
Mobile: (+34) 638 879 561
Office: (+34) 917 027 059

María González
UNRWA Spanish Committee
Mobile: (+34) 638 879 561
Office: (+34) 917 027 059