Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development supports UNRWA with US $ 21.5 million contribution [EN/AR] – Lebanon
October 14, 2021
Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) entered into two contribution agreements with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (Fund), for an amount total of $ 21.5 million. The Fund will provide US $ 20 million to support the Agency’s core services in 2021 and 2022 and US $ 1.5 million for health and hospital services to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
The agreements were signed by the Director General of the Fund, Mr. Marwan A. Th. Alghanem and the Commissioner General of UNRWA, Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, during a signing ceremony at the Kuwait Fund in Kuwait.
âThis generous donation could not have come at a more critical time for Palestinian refugees,â said UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini. âIn a time of immense uncertainty and desperation among refugee communities, such solidarity from an Arab country brings a ray of light and a message that they – the Palestinian refugees – are not alone. With the support of donors such as the Government of Kuwait and the Kuwait Fund, UNRWA is able to continue providing services to millions of Palestinian refugees.
For the first time in decades, four of the five areas in which UNRWA operates are simultaneously in crisis: Gaza, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Lebanon and Syria. Palestinian refugees see the quality education, health services and social protection they receive from UNRWA as a lifeline for a life of dignity. Kuwait supports UNRWA and has contributed greatly to the human development of Palestinian refugees for decades.
Mr. Alghanem said: âThis contribution aims to ensure that the provision of life-saving services to Palestinian refugees is not interrupted. This is an affirmation of Kuwait’s firm position on the Palestinian issue and the commitment of the Government of Kuwait to assist Palestinian refugees with the most basic needs in order to live a decent life.
The Kuwait Fund has been a leading institution in the Middle East that has played an active role in international development efforts since its inception in 1961. Kuwait has long been a major donor to UNRWA through its government and of several national institutions such as the Fund. Since its inception, the State of Kuwait’s total contributions to the Agency have amounted to $ 4,238 million, enabling UNRWA to continue providing essential services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.
UNRWA is faced with an increased demand for services resulting from an increase in the number of registered Palestinian refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and the worsening of their poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been overtaken by growing needs. As a result, UNRWA’s program budget, which supports the provision of basic essential services, is operating with a large deficit. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to make every effort to fully fund the Agency’s program budget. UNRWA’s emergency programs and key projects, which also operate with large deficits, 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 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in its five areas of operation. Its mission is to help Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to realize their full potential for human development, while awaiting a just and lasting solution to their fate. UNRWA’s services include education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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