Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric announced yesterday that $30 million will be released in urgent aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), a statement said.
"The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, is releasing $30 million today from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to urgently support Palestine refugees through UNRWA," Dujarric said.
"An exceptional grant of $15 million will enable UNRWA to avoid disruption of life-saving food assistance to vulnerable refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where over 2.5 million people are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance," Dujarric added.
He continued: "Donors are encouraged to step up urgently and increase their support for humanitarian action in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the region and for UNRWA as a major humanitarian aid provider."
Dujarric said that the UN secretary-general is to attend a conference to be held today "to support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of some 5.3 million Palestine Refugees registered with UNRWA and ensure that the Agency's funding deficit of $446 million is urgently resolved."
Last month, the UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl launched the "Dignity is Priceless" campaign to collect funds from donor countries around the world, but it was met with a weak response.
The campaign was launched after the US announced that it had slashed $65 million of its $120 million annual payment for the international organisation.
UNRWA provides relief and humanitarian support for more than five million Palestinian refugees living in the Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) and refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The Agency was established in 1949 following the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1948, one of whose tragic consequences was the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their towns and villages.