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Tánaiste announces funding of €5m for the Palestinian people

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., today announced core funding of €5 million to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).


Highlighting UNRWA’s essential work, the Tánaiste said:


“Ireland is a longstanding supporter of UNRWA. Its work is essential to the delivery of healthcare, education and humanitarian relief and social services, including food assistance, to 5.4 million Palestine refugees. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East region has meant an increased demand for UNRWA’s services. I have seen these needs first hand during my regular visits to the region, as well as the significant operational challenges faced by UNRWA.”


“Ireland responded by significantly increasing our funding to UNRWA last year through additional contributions. Today’s announcement of €5 million in core funding for UNRWA reflects Ireland’s abiding commitment to the vital work of UNRWA. The services that UNRWA provides are necessary, and will remain necessary, until a lasting solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict can be negotiated that meets the needs of both parties and resolves all final status issues.”


·         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 2018 amounted to €15.38 million. This funding seeks to address 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 €55 million to UNRWA’s Programme Budget, with €7.25 million provided in 2018, an increase of €3.25 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.

·         Ireland’s support to UNRWA takes the form of an initial annual contribution to UNRWA’s programme budget (€4m in 2018) followed by additional funding to both the Programme Budget and Emergency Appeals if possible as the year progresses. This year, in recognition of the difficult budgetary situation experienced by UNRWA, Ireland is raising its initial contribution by 20% to €5m and will seek to provide further funding in the second half of the year.


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