Acting Director of Partnerships of UNRWA, Marc Lassouaoui and the Representative of Japan to Palestine, Ambassador Magoshi Masayuki (right). (UNRWA Photo)
The Government of Japan signed on Thursday two contribution agreements, amounting to approximately US$ 40 million, with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
From the total contribution, US$ 30.2 million will enable UNRWA to continue providing critical and core services to Palestine refugees in all five fields of operations and another US$ 9.5 million approximately will be used to expand school blocks in Gaza, thus allowing more children to have access to quality education.
“I am very happy to announce that the Government of Japan is contributing approximately US$ 40 million to UNRWA. This contribution represents our determined commitment and solidarity to Palestine refugees at a time when the region continues to experience serious humanitarian crisis, including COVID-19 pandemic,” Ambassador MAGOSHI Masayuki, Representative of Japan to Palestine, said.
Marc Lassouaoui, Acting Director of Partnerships of UNRWA, said: “On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank the Government of Japan for its generous contribution in benefit of the Palestine refugees. The Government of Japan has been exemplary in its support to the Agency. We deeply appreciate the steadfast and strategic cooperation that UNRWA and the Government of Japan have developed over years in support of this vulnerable community.”
The Government of Japan is a dedicated donor to UNRWA, having supported the Agency since 1953. In 2020, the Government of Japan was the overall 5th largest contributor to the Agency, playing a critical role at a time when UNRWA faced an existential crisis. It is thanks to the enduring support of donors like the Government of Japan that the Agency is able to provide vital services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East in the face of its continuing challenges.
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.