Palestinian refugee children (File photo via UNRWA)
The United States announced on Saturday that it is contributing an additional US$135.8 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
In April, the U.S. government restored its support for UNRWA, providing an initial $150 million to the UN agency to help secure life-saving services to eligible registered Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
The United States also provided nearly $33 million in humanitarian assistance to UNRWA in May in response to the violence in the West Bank and Gaza.
The funding announcement comes alongside the United States and UNRWA signing a Framework for Cooperation that establishes shared goals and priorities in support of humanitarian assistance, human development, and protection of Palestine refugees.
“The signing of the U.S.-UNRWA Framework and additional support demonstrates we once again have an ongoing partner in the United States that understands the need to provide critical assistance to some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees,” stated UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.
The additional funding will continue to support the core budget of UNRWA -- the majority of which funds the operation of more than 700 schools educating over half a million children and 140 primary health clinics providing 8.5 million patient consultations a year -- as well as emergency appeals to respond to dire humanitarian challenges in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank (including in East Jerusalem) and Gaza.