United States Announces New Funding For UNRWA

AMMAN – Today, in response to a financial deficit that threatened to keep the doors of schools for Palestinian refugee children closed this fall, the United States announced an additional $15 million contribution to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

This contribution is part of a multi-donor effort to bridge UNRWA’s current year deficit so UNRWA schools open on time, ensuring quality education for 500,000 Palestinian refugee children in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.

This funding brings the overall U.S. 2015 contribution to nearly $350 million, $165 million of which went to the General Fund to support essential services like education.  The United States has been and remains the largest and most reliable bilateral donor to UNRWA.

The United States commends UNRWA’s senior leadership for their tireless efforts to mobilize resources and begin charting a course toward greater financial stability.  We also commend the other nations that have contributed, in particular Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, which contributed a total of $49 million, or almost half the amount needed to bridge UNRWA’s deficit.

We stand ready to continue to work with UNRWA, host governments, other donors, and Palestinian refugee communities to ensure the continuity of UNRWA’s core services until a just and lasting solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees is reached.

Ensuring refugee children are able to go to school is something that benefits not just these children themselves – it benefits all of us. It is for this reason that the United States is also committed to helping provide education to this generation of refugee children in the Middle East, including Palestinians and Syrians, through relevant humanitarian organizations.