A Lifeline for Palestinian Refugees
Foreign Secretary Stresses Urgent Need for International Support
In a significant move to address the mounting humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian refugees, the United Kingdom has announced a substantial increase in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The announcement was made by the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, during his visit to the Jalazone Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
£10 Million Package to Bolster UNRWA Services
The UK has committed a £10 million package that will greatly enhance UNRWA’s capacity to provide critical support to Palestinian refugees. Additionally, this funding will primarily be directed towards sustaining essential services, including education for approximately 543,000 children and healthcare services for 1.9 million Palestinian refugees.
A Growing Humanitarian Crisis
Foreign Secretary Cleverly, standing amid the refugee camp’s residents, issued a dire warning about the deteriorating situation faced by Palestinian refugees. Furthermore, he referred to it as a ‘humanitarian crisis’ and called on the international community to follow the UK’s lead in bolstering support for UNRWA.
Strengthening UNRWA’s Mission
This substantial increase in funding underscores the UK’s unwavering commitment to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. Furthermore, UNRWA, responsible for aiding 5.9 million refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, will use this additional support to effectively address the deepening crisis affecting Palestinian refugees.
Providing Critical Education and Healthcare
The UK’s augmented annual contribution to UNRWA will play a pivotal role in maintaining vital services. It will ensure that around 543,000 children, including half of them girls, continue to receive education, while also delivering healthcare services to 1.9 million Palestinian refugees across the region, all of whom fall under the agency’s mandate.
Foreign Secretary Cleverly emphasized the significance of the UK’s ongoing support, stating,
“On my visit to Jalazone refugee camp today, I have seen first-hand the impact of UNRWA’s work supporting Palestinian refugees in the West Bank. UK funding is helping to support 5.9 million Palestinian refugees across the region with vital healthcare and education services, and today I’ve announced a further increase to our contribution. UNRWA is in dire need of additional support to continue its work, so I urge the international community to step up support.”
Addressing UNRWA’s Financial Crisis
During his visit, Foreign Secretary Cleverly met with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. They discussed the critical financial challenges facing UNRWA as it strives to deliver essential services amidst escalating violence and fragility in the region.
Additionally, Cleverly had the opportunity to meet with students from the UNRWA school in Jalazone Refugee Camp, gaining insights into the positive impact of the agency’s work.
UNRWA’s Essential Role
With recent escalations in violence adding to the strain on Palestinian communities, UNRWA’s services have become increasingly vital. Moreover, the agency serves as a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
UNRWA’s Evolving Mandate
UNRWA was established in 1949 with a temporary mandate to provide essential services to Palestinian refugees. Since then, the refugee population supported by UNRWA has grown significantly, from 700,000 in 1948 to the current 5.9 million, spanning across Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
The United Kingdom’s commitment to bolster UNRWA’s efforts comes at a crucial juncture. Furthermore, as the international community seeks to alleviate the hardships faced by Palestinian refugees, it becomes essential to ensure their access to education and healthcare services in the midst of ongoing challenges.