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Japan donates $1.5m in aid to UNRWA

A Palestinian woman walks past the shuttered headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian woman walks past the shuttered headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]

Japan has donated $1.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to support food aid in the besieged Gaza Strip.

"I am very happy to share with you that the Government of Japan has decided to contribute JPY 200 million to UNRWA at this critical time. This contribution represents our determined commitment and continued solidarity with Palestine refugees," said Takashi Hattori, deputy representative of Japan to Palestine.

Welcoming Japan's donation, UNRWA Director of External Relations and Communications, Tamara Alrifai, said: "This generous contribution from the Government of Japan is proof that solidarity with Palestine refugees comes from near and far. UNRWA thanks Japan for its continued support, which allows for the provision of essential humanitarian support at a time of acute need."

It comes after the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, told the UN Security Council last week that the agency was facing a funding crisis and called for political and financial support.

"UNRWA is facing an existential threat. What is at stake? Quality and principled education for over half a million girls and boys; access to health care for around 2 million Palestine refugees and a social safety net for around 400,000 of the poorest amongst the poor," are in danger, he warned.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide assistance and protection to refugees in five areas, including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, until they are given their right to return to the homes they were forced out of as a result of the creation of the state of Israel.

READ: Palestine refugees in Lebanon threaten to escalate protests against UNRWA

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