Russia Contributes US$ 2 Million to UNRWA to Support Education and Health Care for Palestine Refugees

09 May 2017
© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Tala Zeitawi

The Russian Federation has contributed US$ 2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of its core programmes and services, including education for over 500,000 children, quality primary health care for over 3.5 million patients and assistance for over 250,000 acutely vulnerable refugees. This contribution represents the first installment of a multi-year agreement that will see the Russian Federation contributing US$ 2 million per annum from 2017-2021, ensuring a predictable source of funding for the Agency’s human development and humanitarian interventions.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous contribution from the government and people of Russia, who have committed through this multi-year agreement to engage in a sustained partnership with UNRWA, in support of Palestine refugees across the region,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. “Russia’s commitment to the mandate of the Agency is an important reminder that support to Palestine refugees is a global responsibility".

This contribution comes shortly after the Commissioner-General’s visit to Moscow in early April, during which he met with senior Russian officials, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail L. Bogdanov, to shed light on the humanitarian situation in the region and the crucial needs of Palestine refugees.

The partnership between UNRWA and Russia has deepened in recent years; since 2013, Russia has contributed US$ 4 million to UNRWA for the Agency’s core programmes and services.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724