The Government of Kuwait has contributed US$ 5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
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The event was marked by Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the UN, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi presenting UNRWA Representative in New York, Mr. James Dykstra with the donation in New York on Thursday.
This generous contribution to the Agency will fund its Syria operations and improve living conditions for some 560,000 thousand Palestine refugees in Syria, who continue to endure harsh conditions after eight years of armed conflict.
Kuwaiti Ambassador, His Excellency Mansour Al-Otaibi said:
“We are very pleased to announce that the Government of Kuwait has decided to contribute US$ 5 million to Palestine refugees in Syria. UNRWA is a very important and effective international organization that provides assistance and humanitarian protection to five million registered Palestinian refugees in the region. The daily services of this Agency are a life line and are unique.”
Mr. Marc Lassouaoui, Chief of the UNRWA Donor Relations Division expressed his sincere gratitude and recognition of the continuous support that Kuwait has extended to UNRWA over the years:
“We are extremely grateful for the generous partnership provided by the Government of Kuwait to Palestine refugees in Syria. We are proud of the strength of the country’s commitment to our Agency. UNRWA is currently enduring a critical financial and political period. Now is the time that we ask all our partners and our supporters to step up for Palestine refugees.”
Kuwait has long been an important and consistent donor to UNRWA. Since 2013, their total contributions to the Agency have totaled US$ 65 million. This support from the Kuwaiti government, as well as Kuwait-based organizations, such as the International Islamic Charity Organization, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Kuwait Red Crescent enables the Agency to provide essential services to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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