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Finland pledges $21.8m to support Palestine refugees

March 31, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Finland has pledged to donate $21.8 million as part of a three-year funding agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The multi-year agreement (MYA), which runs from 2023 to 2026, is a renewal of the existing cooperation between the parties and follows the MYA which ran from 2019 to 2022, during which an annual €5 million ($5.4 million) was contributed to the agency’s humanitarian operation.

Paivi Peltokoski, ambassador from the Representative Office of Finland in Ramallah, said: “Finland highly values the indispensable work of UNRWA with Palestine refugees, including in providing basic services, for example in education and healthcare.”

“Finland is a long-standing and stable supporter of UNRWA. More than ever, UNRWA needs adequate funds, political support and sustainability to fulfil its core mandate.”

The donation comes as the media adviser to UNRWA, Adnan Abu Hasna, warned that some donor countries have informed UNRWA that they will reduce their contributions to the agency this year, while others will not increase their grants.

Karim Amer, director of partnerships at UNRWA, added: “On behalf of the agency, I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Finland for its commitment to supporting UNRWA with unearmarked and predictable funding disbursed early in the year.”

“This trust is tremendously important for the agency and its stability, especially considering the difficult current financial situation.”

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.

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