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  • The Sustainable Development Goals of poverty eradication and respect for human rights will also benefit from the contribution.

    The Sustainable Development Goals of poverty eradication and respect for human rights will also benefit from the contribution. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 10 May 2019

The UNRWA has been faced with challenges created by a blockade of all aid subsidies by the U.S. administration causing an increase in the number of registered Palestine refugees.

The core programs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have received a boost from New Zealand, following the signing of a pact by representatives of the organization.

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WFP: Canada Pledges US$2 Million For Palestine

Significantly, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of poverty eradication and respect for human rights will also directly benefit from the multimillion-dollar contribution from the Oceanic nation.

The agreement, according to the pledge, will otherwise enable the UNRWA to continue to support refugees, including providing educational resources to some 532,000 Palestinian boys and girls in some 715 UNRWA schools across the Middle East.

The Kiwi's commitment, the release from the agency says, will cover a three-year period - from 2019 to 2021 - to the tune of US$2 million.

“UNRWA continues to play a unique and vital role ensuring that the humanitarian, development and protection needs of Palestinian refugees are met in the absence of a lasting political solution to their situation. With this three-year un-earmarked contribution, New Zealand is proud to continue our long-standing commitment to UNRWA and to Palestinian refugees,” permanent representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, Craig Hawke, said.

The UNRWA has been faced with challenges created by a blockade of all aid subsidies by the U.S. administration which caused a major increase in the number of registered Palestine refugees requiring aid.

The growth in the needs of the agency’s dependents is currently outpacing the funding, which almost entirely comes from voluntary contributions.

New Zealander Hawke and the UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl were the signatories to the pact.

“UNRWA is proud to partner with the Government of New Zealand. We are grateful for the generous support provided by New Zealand and deeply impressed by the strength of the country’s commitment to our work. This multi-year contribution helps protects our service delivery and represents a contribution towards stability for Palestine refugees and the Middle East region,” Krähenbühl added.

The UNRWA was established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The services of the organization include education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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