Chief of UNRWA Donor Relations Division Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Director of Education Caroline Pontefract and the French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti pictured during a signing ceremony of France’s contribution to UNRWA in 2019. (UNRWA photo)
The Government of France has disbursed EUR 6 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) this July, bringing its total contribution for 2020 to EUR 20 million.
UNRWA said in a press release that of the EUR 6 million, EUR 5 million will contribute to the Agency’s core services of education, health and poverty alleviation for all of UNRWA fields of operation, with another EUR 1 million to support the Agency’s COVID-19 response in occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
“This new contribution reflects France’s lasting commitment to ensure that UNRWA can deliver its services. France also welcomes the efforts of UNRWA to respond to the COVID crisis. UNRWA services across its five fields of operation remain all the more essential today in order to provide services to over 5.6 million Palestine refugees.” said René Troccaz, Consul General of France in Jerusalem.
“On behalf of the Agency, I thank the Government of France for funding generously UNRWA core services while also contributing to ensure the response to the additional challenges that the COVID-19 crisis poses to the Agency”, said Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Chief of Donor Relations.
The UNRWA official also commended France “for advancing the majority of its funding to the first quarter of 2020 to help address the constant cash flow shortage of the Agency”.
He said France has provided steadfast support to the Agency and has become, last year, one of the Agency’s top partners.
France has been a dedicated and reliable partner to UNRWA, reaching a total of EUR 41 million in funding for the fiscal year 2019, said UNRWA.
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 is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 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.