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Government announces funding of €4 million for Palestinian Refugee Agency

Budget/funding, Emergencies, News/feature, Palestine, 2014

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD, and Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD today announced funding of €4 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for 2014. This will help UNRWA to deliver core services, especially in education and health, to Palestinian refugees and is in keeping with Ireland’s pledge to provide €4 million annually to support the agency’s core work between 2013 and 2015. €1 million of the annual contribution is earmarked for UNRWA’s programme of activities in Lebanon.

 The Tánaiste said:  

“I am acutely aware of the difficult humanitarian and economic situation affecting the lives of ordinary Palestinians. Political change and instability across the region and the ongoing crisis in Syria is causing even greater hardship. While only a political solution will provide real hope, Ireland is committed to helping alleviate the effects of this crisis.

 “Ireland will continue to actively support a lasting and peaceful political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as in the wider region. In particular we fully support the sterling efforts of Secretary of State Kerry and his team to bring the current negotiations to a successful agreement. In the meantime, the support being announced today will help UNRWA provide essential services in health and education to Palestinian refugees.” 

 Speaking after a meeting in Dublin today with UNRWA’s Director of Operations in Gaza, Mr Robert Turner, Minister Costello said:

 

“Ireland has been a longstanding supporter of the work of UNRWA. During my visit to Gaza last year, I saw the impact of the agency’s tireless work to meet the basic needs of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.  

“UNRWA operates one of the largest education systems in the Middle East, opening the doors of its 700 schools to nearly 500,000 pupils each day. The Agency’s network of 138 primary health care centres received in the region of 10 million patient visits last year. Ireland will continue to offer essential humanitarian support to address the ongoing basic and emergency needs of the Palestinian people.”

 

Press Office

 12 March 2014

 

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