The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has received $35 million from Saudi Arabia in response to the ever-worsening financial crisis which the organisation has witnessed.
A recent UNRWA statement published yesterday said the majority of the funds provided by Saudi would be spent on education and health sectors in Gaza and for supporting schools and health centres in Jordan and the West Bank.
Some $19 million will be used to cover UNRWA's budget deficit in the educational sector, which amounts to $101 million.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said: "I am deeply grateful to the government and people of Saudi Arabia. At this time of severe crisis, this donation is received as a strong message of solidarity towards Palestine refugees and UNRWA."
He warned about the possibility of delaying the new school year if more funds are not allocated to the organisation. "I must state again that the risk of a delay to our school year remains real unless we can cover our $101M deficit in coming days."
Yousef Al-Bassam, managing director of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) which made the donation, said: "The closure of schools for half a million Palestinian children would be a catastrophe. I hope the rest of UNRWA's steadfast partners will take heart in the continued confidence placed in the agency by the kingdom with this latest contribution, and step forward with their own pledges to keep UNRWA's operations going."