Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), launched a multi-year agreement to support UNRWA Syria regional crisis emergency appeal over the period between 2018-2021 for a total of US$ 6.4 million.
The launching ceremony was held at the Amman New Camp, and attended by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Jordan, the head of DFID Jordan and DFID lead Humanitarian adviser.
The three-year contribution will enable the Agency to provide essential services to the Palestine refugees from Syria in Jordan, including food, non-food items and shelters, all components of the Agency’s unconditional cash assistance programme.
In his speech the Ambassador of the United Kingdome to Jordan, H.E. Mr. Edward Oakden CMG said: “The UK remains firmly committed to the Agency’s vital mission providing essential daily support to Palestinian refugees in Jordan and across the region. As one of the Agency’s leading donors, we have already increased our contribution to UNRWA several times this year, to ensure no break in its vital educational and healthcare services. This further £5 million donation, for Palestinian refugees from Syria, will take the UK’s contribution to over £65 million this year. The funding will help meet their basic needs, including shelter and food, and enable continued access to existing UNRWA schools and health clinics across Jordan. We remain committed to continuing to sustain the essential mission of UNRWA going forward.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan Roger Davies said: “The United Kingdom is a longstanding supporter of UNRWA and the Palestine refugees. This three-year agreement provides sustainability to our humanitarian interventions to this group in particular. Today, the generous contribution will cover the needs of about two-thirds of Palestine refugees from Syria in Jordan in the last quarter of the year, and the needs of entire population in the first quarter of 2019.”
The first instalment will guarantee that up to 4,500 Palestine refugees families from Syria in Jordan will receive winterization package in the form of cash assistance to cover their needs during winter. The following installments will enable the Agency to safeguard and protect some 18,000 Palestine refugees from Syria in Jordan, in line with identified needs.
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.