Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay $23 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the organisation announced yesterday. The fund was said to have been provided by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
In an official statement, UNRWA said it would “embark on large-scale maintenance projects that will ensure that 268 schools and health centres in Syria, Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have sound construction and are accessible to all visitors.”
Hailing the Saudi government, the UN organisation noted that its plan to improve UNRWA’s various facilities in the occupied territories wouldn’t have been “possible” without Riyadh’s donations.
UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said he was “extremely grateful that the SFD has made this support available,” explaining that “many of our [UNRWA] structures needed maintenance.”
Going into a well-kept school or health centre can make a huge difference in terms of respect and morale, and that is exactly what we want people to feel: we care about your dignity
Saudi Arabia is UNRWA’s third-largest donor, having contributed more than $800 million since 1994, a move described by the humanitarian organisation as a “clear sign of support to Palestine refugees and to their dignity and wellbeing.”