The UK is supporting the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to help educate 500,000 children and provide health services for 3 million Palestinian refugees, including those affected by the brutal conflict in Syria.
Speaking at the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference on UNRWA in Rome today (Thursday 15 March), Middle East Minister Alistair Burt highlighted the UK’s continuing commitment to supporting Palestinian refugees and called on other countries to do more to alleviate some of the current pressures the agency is facing. He welcomed reform efforts to date and encouraged UNRWA to continue the pace of cost-efficiency reform.
Mr. Burt confirmed that the UK will deliver its next round of financial support earlier than originally planned, to help meet the growing needs of Palestinian refugees across the region.
Minister Burt said:
The UK is unequivocally committed to supporting vulnerable Palestinian refugees by assisting in the provision of education and healthcare across the region which is a key part of our resolve to promote a two-state solution. UNRWA plays a unique and critical role in supporting regional stability, and it’s absolutely right that Global Britain supports the sustainability of its services.
Today I’m calling on others to follow our lead to make sure that UNRWA’s humanitarian and stabilising role continues uninterrupted. This is not just important for those Palestinians in need of aid, but also to maintain stability across the region which is in all of our interests.
Notes to Editors
Over the course of the 2017/2018 financial year, the UK has provided around £50 million to UNRWA to support the agency’s delivery of food, education and healthcare to vulnerable Palestinians across the Middle East. This makes us one of the top five donors.
The UK will provide at least £28 million to UNRWA next financial year, as previously outlined in our multi-year commitment to 2021.