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Press Releases 2009

U.S. Government Contributes $81 million for UNRWA Emergency Programs in West Bank and Gaza

August 28, 2009

Jerusalem: At a signing ceremony in Aida Camp today, U.S. Consul General Jake Walles announced an $81 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support its emergency programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

U.S. Consul General Walles said that the $81 million will provide critical humanitarian assistance to one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, including emergency food assistance, job creation, and special health and education programs designed to help children deal with the trauma of the conflict. These funds will also help to rehabilitate shelters, health clinics and schools that were damaged earlier this year.

The U.S. contribution will also provide needed funds to support UNRWA's West Bank emergency program. Walles said that "we are pleased that with our support, UNRWA will be able to continue to provide emergency food assistance and employment opportunities to refugees in the West Bank."

Abu Zayd thanked the U.S. government for its $81 million contribution, saying “We are immensely grateful to the United States government for its generous contribution. It is a fine example of the American commitment to supporting UNRWA and improving the daily lives of Palestine refugees throughout the region.”

The United States is UNRWA's largest bilateral donor. This contribution will bring the United States total contribution to UNRWA in 2009 to $267 million, including over $116 million to its General Fund, $30 million to its Lebanon Emergency Appeals, and $119.5 million to its West Bank/Gaza Emergency Programs.

For more information please contact the Consulate Press Office at 02-622-6909 or Information Specialist Naser Ideis at 054-542-0943