UAE announces $20 million contribution to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees - GulfToday

UAE announces $20 million contribution to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees


A Palestinian girl treats her brother’s wounds after an Israeli airstike in Gaza. File

Gulf Today Report

The United Arab Emirates announced its contribution of $20 million (Dhs73.6 million) to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The Agency provides education, health care, and social services to Palestinian refugees. The agency is funded almost entirely by contributions from member states of the United Nations.

Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, announced the UAE's contribution, which will be disbursed over the next two years.

This came during a meeting of the ad hoc committee of the General Assembly to announce voluntary donations to UNRWA.

She said, "UNRWA is facing serious challenges, as its financial situation is unstable, and its future is in the balance... Therefore, the support of the UAE came with the aim of contributing to financing that enhances the aspirations and sustainability of the agency."

She added, "UNRWA plays a pivotal role in improving the lives of millions of Palestine refugees, and also contributes to maintaining regional security and stability."

It is worth noting that the UAE, before announcing its contribution today, had provided aid to Palestine between 2018 and 2023, at a value of $521 million, including $119.3 million through UNRWA.

The agency was established on December 8, 1949, pursuant to United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. (302).

Despite a dire warning from the United Nations chief that the UN agency for Palestinian refugees "is on the verge of financial collapse,” donors at a pledging conference on Friday provided just $107 million in new funds — significantly less than the $300 million it needs to keep helping millions of people.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the agency known as UNRWA, said he was grateful for the new pledges but they are below the funds needed to keep over 700 schools and 140 clinics open from September through December.

"We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners, including host countries — the refugees’ top supporters - to raise the funds needed,” he said in a statement.

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