Iceland to Provide 3rd Emergency Contribution to Palestine Refugees since October 7

Iceland to Provide 3rd Emergency Contribution to Palestine Refugees since October 7

Children eat their meal amid the ruins of the family home destroyed by an Israeli strike in Rafah, southern Gaza. (Photo: AFP)

In response to the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding in the Gaza Strip, Iceland has again stepped forward and announced a new contribution in the amount of ISK 85 million (c. US$ 0.6 million) to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

This is Iceland’s third round of support to the Agency since 7 October 2023 and comes on top of two previous contributions of ISK 70 million (c. US$ 0.5 million) received by UNRWA on 24 October and 9 November, amounting to a total of ISK 140 million (c. US$ 1 million).

It is also worth highlighting that on 21 September 2023 Iceland and UNRWA signed a new framework agreement which covers the years 2024-2028 and significantly increases Iceland’s annual contribution to the Agency from ISK 25 million (c. US$ 178,000) to ISK 110 million (c. US$ 782,000).

"With this third emergency contribution to UNRWA, Iceland is demonstrating its firm commitment to alleviating the suffering of civilians in Gaza. Iceland’s contribution will help to provide lifesaving assistance for the 945,000 IDPs sheltering in UNRWA’s premises,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

"Iceland is committed to playing its part in providing urgent life-saving assistance to civilians suffering in Gaza. Our partnership with UNRWA is longstanding and we appreciate the critical role that the Agency plays in responding to this crisis," stated Iceland’s Foreign Minister Bjarni Benediktsson.

Iceland is a strong supporter of UNRWA development assistance, while also contributing to emergency appeals in support of the Agency’s humanitarian work. Its first contribution to the Agency took place in 1967. In 2023, Iceland contributed US$1.6 million for human development aid and various projects.

UNRWA issued an initial US$ 104 million Gaza Flash Appeal in response to the escalation in the Gaza Strip on 11 October 2023. It was subsequently revised to US$ 481 million on 9 November 2023.

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