The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced that the People's Republic of China has provided $2.35 million in support of the Agency's emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
In a statement on Friday, UNRWA said that "we appreciate the generous donation of $2.35 million from the People's Republic of China in support of the Agency's appeal for the Palestinian territories," adding:
This generous donation from China provides immediate and critical emergency food aid during the months of October through December 2018 to approximately 1 million Palestine refugees who are classified under absolute poverty and extreme poverty categories in Gaza as part of the agency fourth emergency food aid.
Head of the Representative Office of the People's Republic of China to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Guo Wei, said of the announcement that: "China attributes great importance to the vital role that UNRWA plays in alleviating the humanitarian situation of the Palestine refugees." "[China] appreciates the work done by UNRWA in the areas of health, education, and other basic services, and that is the reason why the Chinese government has made additional contributions worth two million dollars to UNRWA this year," he added.
UNRWA's Operations Director in Gaza, Matthias Shamali, in turn said that:
China has always been a strong supporter of UNRWA, and this year it has provided additional assistance to UNRWA's emergency food programme in Gaza, at a time when the Agency faced a critical funding deficit. China remains an important and valuable donor to UNRWA, and I would like to extend to them my sincere thanks for their sustained commitment to the Agency and Palestine's refugees.
Though China has long been a supporter of UNRWA, the donations it provided to the agency this year have significantly increased compared to previous years. This comes in the wake of significant shortages in UNRWA funding after US President Donald Trump announced earlier this year that he would cease all US support for the agency, leading China to increase its funding to an unprecedented level.