Kuwait grants $5M to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees in Syria
Displaced people from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp queuing to receive aid from UNRWA in Yalda, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus in 2015. (AFP/File)
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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced on Friday that Kuwait would be donating $5 million to the organization.
The donation was made in support of UNRWA’s ‘Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal,’ following pledges made by Kuwait at the Fourth International Pledging Conference in London earlier this year.
UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl released a statement praising the “renewed solidarity” from the state of Kuwait towards Palestinian refugees in Syria.
“I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the government and people of Kuwait for this valuable support,” the Krahenbuhl said, “it will allow us to responds to essential needs of some 440,000 Palestine refugees deeply affected by the dramatic conflict in Syria.”
The statement went on to praise Kuwait’s “consistency” and “reliability” as a donor, highlighting that the small Gulf country has contributed a total of $45 million over three consecutive years in support of the agency’s efforts to assist Palestinian refugees in Syria.
In 2016, the statement added, UNRWA is appealing for $414 million “to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.”
The Syrian conflict began in the form of peaceful protests in March 2011 and quickly morphed into a civil war that has so far left more than 400,000 people dead and millions displaced according to UN estimates.
Over half a million Palestinians lived across nine refugee camps in Syria prior to the war, the descendants of some of the 750,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes during the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Syria's civil war has seen many of these families displaced a second time, with up to 280,000 displaced inside Syria, a further 110,000 displaced to neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and increasingly, to Europe.
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