Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
The Government of Italy has contributed EUR 6.8 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, healthcare, and relief and social services.
This commitment was announced during the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference held on 23 June 2020, by Her Excellency Ms. Emanuela C. Del Re, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“This contribution reflects Italy’s steadfast commitment in supporting UNRWA to deliver essential services to Palestinian refugees across all its fields of operation. UNRWA remains a vital stabilizing factor in a region that continues to be plagued by old and new crises, as the recent, catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut has dramatically shown,” said Giuseppe Fedele, Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the people and government of Italy for this generous contribution which comes at a time of great need,” said Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Chief of Donor Relations. “This timely contribution will help UNRWA continue delivering core services to Palestine refugees throughout the region, including education, health care and relief and social services.”
The Government of Italy is a strong supporter of UNRWA and in 2019 contributed over EUR 13 million to support the Agency’s vital services to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
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.