20 November 2012
The Saudi National Campaign to Support Brothers in Syria has pledged 7.5 million riyals (USD 2 million) to support Palestinians affected by the violence in Syria, as well as those who have fled to safety in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan.
The donation was made possible by King Abdullah Bin 'Abdul 'Aziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the charity’s Supervisor-General and Saudi Minister of the Interior, HRH Prince Mohammed Ibn Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz.
Following approval by HRH Prince Mohammed Ibn Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz, Saudi Minister of Interior and Supervisor General of the Saudi National Campaign to Support Brothers in Syria, an agreement to this effect has been signed on Tuesday 20 November 2012, in UNRWA Headquarters in Amman, by Mr Mubarak Al Bakr, Director General of the Saudi Campaign for the relief of the Palestinian People in Syria, and Mr Peter Ford, Representative of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The purpose of the joint cooperation agreement is to implement the project as part of a wider joint effort between the charity, UNRWA and WFP.
It is estimated that about half of the 500,000 Palestinians living in Syria have been seriously affected by the conflict in the war-torn country. Many have been displaced within Syria; many have lost their homes and livelihoods; many others have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. The Saudi relief project will allow UNRWA and the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide emergency food aid to the most needy.
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, said: “Once again Saudi Arabia is demonstrating its tremendous support for Palestinians and for UNRWA. This contribution will enable us to provide food to hundreds of Palestinian families who are living in painful circumstances in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. I am extremely grateful to HRH Prince Mohammed Ibn Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Campaign and the people of Saudi Arabia for making this possible.”
The Saudi National Campaign to Support Brothers in Syria began as a fundraising campaign for emergency aid programmes, including land and air relief. Through the funds raised, the campaign secured food and health material for those affected by the conflict, in cooperation with UNRWA and a number of international and regional organizations. The overall cost of the emergency projects is over 246 million riyals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the budget deficit stands at USD 21 million.
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UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
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Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724