The United States has announced a donation of $123 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The UN agency said on Tuesday that the US donation “will enable UNRWA to continue its work serving a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees in the region.” This brings the total US contribution to UNRWA in 2013 to $244.5 million.
According to a statement from the agency, $75 million will be allocated to the General Fund, which supports core activities in the fields of education, health care, relief and social services, infrastructure, improvement, and micro-finance. UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi expressed his thanks for this support. “On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank the United States for this generous contribution today. The US has assisted the Agency for several decades as a major bilateral donor. Its commitment to Palestine refugees is crucial to maintaining regional stability and supporting health, education and other programmes that UNRWA offers to this disadvantaged community. Despite the difficult economic situation worldwide, the US has proven once again that it is dedicated to the development of Palestine refugee potential.”
The UNRWA statement revealed that the donation from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration includes an additional $37 million earmarked for the Agency’s Emergency Appeal in Gaza and the West Bank; $10 million for the construction and equipment of three schools and two health centres in Gaza; and $1 million for relief work in Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon.
The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Clements reaffirmed the United States’ support for UNRWA services. “The United States has been proud to work with UNRWA for many years. We remain committed to supporting their efforts to help Palestinian refugees receive the services that they need.”