AMMONNEWS - International Development Minister Alan Duncan announced a new three year package of UK aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support Palestinian refugees in the region.
The total donation is about . The total funding over the next three years amounts to £7.5 million already confirmed for this year, plus up to an additional £99.5 million by 2015.
The new UK package will help provide health, education and other vital services to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
The new support will include:
• Delivering education for over 36,000 children a year;
• Getting at least four ante-natal appointments each a year for over 6,000 pregnant women; and
• Contributing cash transfers to over 20,000 households a year, giving individual households flexibility to buy what they need and also boosting the local economy.
The announcement follows a visit by the minister to the Baqa’a refugee camp in Amman to see first-hand the help that UNRWA provides.
International Development Minister Alan Duncan said:
“Today in Amman and yesterday in Lebanon, I have seen for myself the excellent work that UNRWA is doing to improve life for Palestinian refugees. I met their dedicated staff and heard stories from the refugees whose lives have been transformed by their work.
“By providing education, health, relief and protection, UNRWA is helping to improve the living standards and long-term prospects for tens of thousands of Palestinians, as well as meeting more immediate humanitarian needs with food and income support for the most vulnerable.
“I am proud to announce that the UK is able to continue to support this vital work.”
UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Gradni said: “I am grateful to Britain for its continued support. It has emerged as a model donor, consistent in its commitment, financially and in advocating for UNRWA’s human development mission.”
As well as confirming the new funding, the minister spoke about the wider support that the UK has provided to those in the region, including medical aid, shelter and other humanitarian support to those affected by fighting in Syria, and the economic support provided to the region through the Arab Partnership Programme.
While in Jordan, Minister Alan Duncan also visited the Jordanian-Syrian border and toured the UN transit facility providing assistance to Syrian refugees fleeing the violence in their country.
•The total funding over the next three years amounts to £7.5 million already confirmed for this year, plus up to an additional £99.5 million by 2015.
•In order that UNRWA has the predictability it needs to be able to address the needs here on a longer-term basis, the UK’s funding is guaranteed for three years, until 2015. Some of this funding will be linked to the delivery of reforms designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UNRWA’s services to refugees.
UK have now committed £8.5m in funding, which has directly provided emergency food supplies for nearly 24,000 families inside Syria and more food and medical aid arrives every week.
-£70 million through the DFID managed Arab Partnership Economic Facility, to support economic reform and to build more inclusive, vibrant and internationally integrated economies.
-£40 million for political reform through the FCO managed Arab Partnership Participation Fund, to support free and fair elections, and stronger parliaments, media and judiciaries.