Ireland boosts funding for Palestine refugee agency
2018-07-10 14:31:24 -

By Finn Hoogensen 


Tánaiste Simon Coveney has announced an additional €250,000 in Irish funding to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).


The UNRWA will use the funds to supply food, shelter, education and social services to 1.3 million Palestine refugees currently in Gaza.


The Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister visited Gaza earlier this year and observed the challenges faced by the UNRWA to deliver core services for refugees. He said that the areas of education and health are especially important for refugees but are lacking.


“During my visit to Gaza earlier this year, I saw first-hand the challenges on the ground for UNRWA and the essential work carried out by the Agency in delivering core services, especially in education and health, to the 1.3 million Palestinian refugees in the [Gaza] Strip,” Minister Coveney said.


“Recent months have demonstrated the vulnerability of Palestinian refugees across the region, especially in Gaza, where UNRWA schools are a bright spot for young people, enabling them to learn and develop despite their difficult circumstances.


“It is clear that humanitarian needs in Gaza are critical and that all key services are under severe strain. The UN Secretary General’s recent appeal has spoken to my own profound concerns about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.”


The UNRWA has helped some 5.3 million Palestine refugees throughout the Middle East. With the addition of this funding, it brings Ireland’s total contribution up to €6m in 2018. That is an increase from the €5.5m Ireland gave to the UNRWA last year.


“UNRWA’s work is essential to maintaining the hope, rights and dignity of Palestinian refugees,” Minister Coveney said. “The long-term prosperity and well-being of the Palestinian people will, however, depend on successful political negotiations, and I am personally committed to ensuring that Ireland actively supports the search for a lasting and peaceful political solution.”

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