Saudi Arabia Pledges $7.6M for Palestine Refugees in Jordan

JERUSALEM, September 10, 2015 (WAFA) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), has pledged $7.6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for a series of works in Jordan to upgrade and equip health centres and schools for Palestine refugees throughout the country, as part of an overall package of $35 million for the Agency.

SFD Vice-Chairman and Managing Director H.E. Eng. Yousef al-Bassam, who authorized the grant, said, ‘Jordan has been host to Palestine refugees since the Nakba, with over 2 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA living in the country. By providing the Agency with this $7.6 million pledge, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pays tribute to Jordan and its people, who continue to provide Palestine refugees with a safe and secure place where they can lead fulfilling lives for themselves and their children.’

The contribution will be used for the comprehensive refurbishment of 10 UNRWA health centres that serve 116,000 Palestine refugees.

The cash will also provide new medical equipment for the health centres.

The project component for the schools will benefit 10,000 children through the maintenance and structural upgrading of five UNRWA-owned schools, the construction of seven additional classrooms to ease overcrowding, and the provision of new textbooks and IT equipment.

These improvements will ensure that Palestine refugee children have a safe and secure learning environment where they can obtain the highest educational outcomes possible.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl welcomed the news, saying, ‘We are deeply grateful for the generous donation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNRWA, which will allow the Agency to improve health and education services for  Palestine refugees in Jordan.

He added, ‘Saudi Arabia plays a key role in ensuring that UNRWA can meet the core humanitarian development and emergency needs of the growing Palestine refugee population in an increasingly unstable region.’

‘I also would like to express sincere gratitude for the longstanding support provided by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which hosts nearly half of the 5 million Palestine refugees registered with the Agency,’ Krähenbühl concluded.

In May this year, UNRWA signed agreements with the Saudi Fund for Development worth $111.5 million, bringing total SFD donations to UNRWA to $146.5 million so far in 2015.