The United States is the largest single country donor to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), providing food, shelter, health care and education to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and refugee facilities in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, according to a fact sheet released by the State Department April 10.
The fact sheet places the U.S. contribution to UNRWA during the current fiscal year at $84.15 million, with a proposed $51 million to be provided for UNRWA’s emergency appeal.
Following is the text of the fact sheet:
(begin fact sheet)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman April 10, 2006
United States Assistance to UN Relief and Works Agency
The United States is the largest bilateral donor to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and second only to the European Community as contributor. FY06 USG contributions to date include $84.15 million to UNRWA’s General Fund, which supports the agency’s core educational, health, and social programs for refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operation (West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), and another $51 million to its 2006 Emergency Appeal, which provides emergency food and health care to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza. Since the second intifada erupted in September 2000, the United States has contributed $186 million to UNRWA’s emergency appeals. Over the past seven years the US average annual contribution to UNRWA’s General Fund has been $86.45 million.
USG Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA
Fiscal Year Regular Budget Emergency Appeal 2003 $88.00 million $46 million 2004 $87.40 million $40 million 2005 $88.00 million $20 million 2006 $84.15 million $51 million (proposed)
U.S. assistance enables UNRWA to provide basic education, vocational training, primary health care, housing, relief services such as cash assistance and food for the neediest families, and microfinance and micro-credits to 4.3 million registered Palestinian refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations, including over 1.6 million refugees in Gaza and the West Bank.
Half of the annual U.S. contribution to UNRWA’s General Fund supports the agency’s programs in the West Bank and Gaza, which are designed to promote economic self-sufficiency and prepare the refugee population for independent statehood in keeping with the President’s vision of two democratic states – Israel and Palestine – living side-by-side in peace and security.
Our contribution to UNRWA’s General Fund ensures that the agency can educate nearly 490,000 children who attend its 647 schools, 273 of which are in Gaza and the West Bank. U.S. assistance enables UNRWA to staff 125 primary health care facilities, including 54 health clinics and one hospital in Gaza and the West Bank, which handle nearly 9 million patient visits per annum.
The U.S. contribution to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal finances the provision of food parcels and mobile health clinic services to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza where unemployment has reached 30 percent, where 56 percent of the 3.8 million population lives below the World Bank poverty line of $2.10 per person per day, and where 40 percent of the population is “food insecure.” This year’s contribution will support UNRWA’s creation of 38,787 temporary jobs.
(end fact sheet)
Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov