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New Zealand pledges $2m to support UNRWA's vital programs

May 10, 2019 10:45 A.M. (Updated: May 12, 2019 12:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl, and the Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, Craig Hawke, signed a three-year commitment, for the period between 2019 and 2021, of $2 million to support core UNRWA programs, on Thursday.

Hawke reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to UNRWA saying, “UNRWA continues to play a unique and vital role ensuring that the humanitarian, development and protection needs of Palestinian refugees are met in the absence of a lasting political solution to their situation."
He added, "With this three-year un-earmarked contribution, New Zealand is proud to continue our long-standing commitment to UNRWA and to Palestinian refugees.”
This multi-year agreement is critical in enabling predictable funding that will allow UNRWA to continue to provide uninterrupted services to Palestine refugees, including education to 532,000 Palestine refugee boys and girls in 715 UNRWA schools across the Middle East.

This support will have a direct positive impact on the well-being of some of the most vulnerable refugees in the Middle East.

Krahenbuhl expressed his appreciation stating, “UNRWA is proud to partner with the Government of New Zealand. We are grateful for the generous support provided by New Zealand and deeply impressed by the strength of the country’s commitment to our work. This multi-year contribution helps protects our service delivery and represents a contribution towards stability for Palestine refugees and the Middle East region.”

As a result of this contribution, New Zealand will help UNRWA directly address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of poverty eradication and respect for human rights, which are both at the core of the Agency’s human development and humanitarian and protection work.

Following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the United Nations founded UNWRA, to help resettle nearly 700,000 Palestinians after the Arab-Israeli war; UNRWA says that there are 5.3 million Palestinian refugees in the world.

UNRWA currently provides services to some 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the occupied Palestinian territories, and the besieged Gaza Strip.

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