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Tánaiste Simon Coveney announces additional funding to UNRWA


Tánaiste Simon Coveney announces additional funding to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D. today announced additional funding of €1 million to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Highlighting the essential work of UNRWA, the Tánaiste said:

“On the occasion of the visit to Ireland of President Abbas, I was able to communicate directly to the Palestinian leadership Ireland’s intention to provide additional funding to UNRWA.

Ireland is a longstanding supporter of UNRWA’s vital work in delivering healthcare, education and food to 5.3 million Palestine refugees. The on-going conflict in the Middle East region has meant an increased demand for UNRWA’s services but funding has not kept pace with requirements. The recent US decision to cease all funding to UNRWA has made the Agency’s situation even more precarious.

I believe that the US decision will impact negatively on the Middle East region. I have made my views on this clear in my contacts with the US administration. The services that UNRWA provides are necessary, and will remain necessary, until a durable solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict can be negotiated that meets the needs of both parties and resolves all final status issues.

I am pleased, therefore, to announce that Ireland is providing a further €1 million for UNRWA’s Programme Budget to support the Agency in delivering core services, especially in education and health to Palestine refugees. This brings Ireland’s total funding to UNRWA this year to €7 million, our highest ever contribution.”

Press Office
22 September 2018

Notes to editors:

• Ireland’s support to the Palestinian people over more than two decades reflects the Government’s longstanding commitment to justice for the Palestinian people and to the development of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state.

• Ireland’s total funding to the Palestinian people in 2017 amounted to €11.19 million. This funding addresses both humanitarian and development needs, providing emergency assistance to the most vulnerable while also supporting the Palestinian Authority in public service delivery and civil society organisations in advocating for human rights.

• Ireland’s support to UNRWA is provided primarily as an annual contribution to UNRWA’s Programme Budget which provides a full range of social services including health and education services, to Palestinian refugees across its five areas of operation. Over the period 2005-2018, Ireland has provided some €53 million to UNRWA’s Programme Budget, with €5.25 million provided in 2018, an increase of €1.25 million on the 2017 allocation. In addition to the Programme Budget, Ireland also provided €1.5 million in 2018 to UNRWA’s Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal and €0.25 million to UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Appeal. Since the announcement by the US of a significant reduction in their funding to UNRWA, Ireland has now pledged an additional €1.5 million in 2018.

• Including the additional funding announced today, Ireland’s funding to the Palestinian people in 2018 will reach €12.83m its highest level ever.