Japan pledges $32.2 mln to assist Palestinian refugees
(Gaza) – Japan has pledged $32.2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The contribution aims to provide urgent relief for the war-battered Gaza Strip, emergency assistance for Palestinian refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, and essential UNRWA services in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
According to a UNRWA statement, the donation is Japan’s largest-ever single contribution to the UN relief agency. Japan’s total annual contribution to UNRWA stood at $28.3 million in 2014 – a considerable increase from the $15.5 million contributed in 2011.
Last week, the UNRWA – citing a lack of funds – said it had been forced to suspend its cash assistance programme in Gaza.
The programme had catered to tens of thousands of Gazans who couldn’t afford to repair their homes, which were damaged or destroyed during Israel’s devastating military onslaught last summer.
UNRWA provides assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, over one fifth of whom reside in the embattled Gaza Strip.