Japan Donates $7.7m to UNRWA Programs

AMMAN, December 12, 2012 (WAFA) – The Japanese government Wednesday donated $7.7 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to provide funding for food distributions to Palestine refugees across the Middle East, according to a statement by the Japanese embassy in Jordan.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the UNRWA Training Centre in Amman and signed by Japanese Ambassador Junichi Kosuge and UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi.

The statement said that this grant will be used for the purchase of wheat flour, pulses and sunflower oil. UNRWA distributes food aid in the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Kosuge said that, “the living conditions of Palestine refugees remain difficult, due to the economic blockade, restriction of movement, and stagnant peace process, therefore to address their situation and mitigate the hardship of the refugees Japan has decided to grant this food aid as humanitarian assistance. Japan sincerely hopes that this food aid will contribute to alleviating the hardship of Palestine refugees.”

Grandi thanked the government and people of Japan and said that food aid continued to be a very important component of poverty alleviation among vulnerable refugees.

He also stressed that a political solution for the plight of Palestine refugees must be actively sought.

“A just and durable solution for the question of Palestine refugees is urgent, in accordance with UN resolution and respecting refugees’ choices,” said Grandi.

“Only at that point will humanitarian and human development assistance become unnecessary,’ he added.

Including this latest donation, Japan has given over USD 20 million to UNRWA this year, USD 5 million more than it gave in 2011, making Japan UNRWA’s tenth largest donor.

Despite this and many other donations, UNRWA’s 2013 General Fund budget has a cash shortfall of approximately USD 69 million.

Source: WAFA News