US to Contribute $20 Million in Support of UNRWA

JERUSALEM, May 14, 2015 (WAFA) – The United States announced Thursday a new $20 million aid contribution to the United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said the UNRWA in a press release.

The UNRWA noted in its press release that the new early financial contribution is intended to ensure that it can continue providing education, health, relief and social services that meet the basic human needs of Palestine refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.

It further noted that this contribution was provided earlier than planned in view of delayed anticipated income from other sources and the lack of UNRWA cash reserves. The imminent funding shortfall  would have impacted the Agency’s ability to provide critical humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugee communities, said the release.

Assistant Secretary of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Anne C. Richard was reported in the press release as affirming the United States’ commitment to supporting UNRWA, but noted growing alarm over the agency’s worsening financial crisis.

“The United States remains committed to supporting UNRWA, as is evidenced by the timeliness and the magnitude of our contributions to both the General Fund and to the Agency’s important emergency appeals,” said Richard.

She expressed ‘deep concerns’ over the agency’s fragile financial situation.

“We are very grateful for this additional contribution, which will help UNRWA bridge a cash flow gap and maintain vital services to some of the most affected communities in the Middle East,” remarked UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.