17 September 2018
On 17 September, Kasih Foods, one of the largest food production companies in the Middle East, announced its intention to make a significant donation to UNRWA’s “Dignity is Priceless” campaign in support of Palestine refugees following the US decision to discontinue funding the agency.
“As a father, I knew we had to get involved to help protect education for Palestine refugee children,” said Mr. Khaled Kasih, General Manager of the Kasih Food Production Company.
The Government of Belgium has made an additional contribution of EUR 4 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support its core educational services. This generous contribution was announced on 27 June at the UN General Assembly in New York and comes at a critical time for UNRWA, which is currently facing an unprecedented funding shortfall, threatening the ability of the Agency to sustain its core services including education.
On 8 September, the Government of Malaysia launched a national fundraising campaign to support Palestine refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The campaign aims to mobilize resources for UNRWA at a time when the Agency faces an unprecedented financial crisis after the United States, a leading supporter of the Agency announced its decision to no longer fund the Agency.
Friday, September 7, 2018
In 2017, UNRWA with support from UNICEF planned to strengthen its support to young Palestine refugees (PRs) in Lebanon. This support is articulated in the strategic framework below and reflects the views and needs of Palestine refugee youth in Lebanon.
UNRWA responds to humanitarian crisis in Dera’a:
The Japanese Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Mr. Takeshi Okubo, and UNRWA Commissioner-General, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, signed an agreement for a JPY 600 million, approximately US$ 5.4 million, contribution from Japan to support the Agency’s Gaza food assistance programme for the seventh consecutive year.
On 31 August, the United States announced that it will provide no additional funding to UNRWA. I express deep regret and disappointment at the nature of the US decision - which affects one of the most robust and rewarding partnerships in the humanitarian and development fields - and unreservedly reject its accompanying narrative.
On the record in the name of UNRWA Spokesman Sami Mshasha
UNRWA expresses deep regret and disappointment at the United States' announcement that it will no longer provide funding to the Agency after decades of staunch political and financial support. This decision is all the more surprising given that UNRWA and the United States renewed a funding agreement in December 2017 which had acknowledged the successful, dedicated and professional management of the Agency.
Op-ed by Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
Islamic Relief USA, a non-profit humanitarian and advocacy organization, has partnered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to help distribute fresh, high-quality meat in the Gaza region, as part of IRUSA’s annual Qurbani program.
Some 4,400 families in Gaza are expected to benefit from the program. Each family will receive seven kilograms of meat. Priority will be given to families who face a high degree of food insecurity and who have never received assistance from the organizations in the past.
Dear Ambassador Güngen, Chair of the Advisory Commission,
Dear Mr. Haddad, Vice-Chair of the Advisory Commission,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At an extraordinary session of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, in Amman today, the Commissioner-General Mr Pierre Krähenbühl announced that the school-year for 526,000 Palestine refugee girls and boys will open on time in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The cash amount transferred to benefciaries has started to decrease. While the Emergency Appeal planned for US$32 per person per month, UNRWA was only able to distribute 4 months of assistance during the first semester of 2018. While the first round of 2018 provided US$ 64 per person covering two months, the amount distributed during the second round dropped to US$ 46 per person covering two months. UNRWA is only planning for one additional round until the end of the year, as opposed to four rounds as in previous years.
Under the auspices of the German Embassy, the German Development Bank (KfW) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), a ceremony was held in Nahr el-Bared camp to mark the handing over of newly reconstructed houses to 61 returning families and 35 retail units to store owners. This is a landmark achievement of the ongoing project funded by Germany.
The Government of Austria has contributed EUR 1 million (US$ 1,157,407) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s health programme in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The Agency operates 143 primary health care facilities across its five fields of operation, 43 of which are in the West Bank and 22 of which are located in Gaza.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) concluded its 2018 children’s summer camp, implemented by the UNRWA community mental health programme (CMHP) -family and child protection programme. It was conducted across the West Bank under the title of “My Identity is my Dignity.”
These sub-summer camps led by 46 of Palestine refugee youth, aged between 18-24 years of age, where they underwent training and lectures and workshops for four days, providing them with the necessary skills to lead youth camps.
Rima attended school as a child, but the lessons never stuck. “I went to school, but I didn’t like it,’ admits the 33 year-old from Homs. As a result, she never learned to read or write. Initially her illiteracy wasn’t much of an issue. But when her father passed away three years ago, she needed to find work and provide for herself and her family. “I was trying, knocking on doors, but everybody said I needed to be able to read and write,” she explains. With these rejections in hand Rima made a big decision: she would learn how to read. That was eighteen months ago.
Over the past week, UNRWA has faced strong reactions in Gaza related to measures it had to take following severe reductions in funding by the United States, its single-largest donor. These financial cuts affected emergency operations and impacted a number of staff positions in both Gaza and West Bank.
The complex and harsh challenges the Palestine refugee community has endured over the past decades are monumental. This year the challenges have grown, following the largest ever reduction in funding UNRWA has faced. The ability of Palestine refugees to persevere is hugely admired by many around the world who continue earnestly to express solidarity and support for them.