The Netherlands government has made a voluntary contribution of EUR 13 million (US$ 16.25 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the year 2013. This contribution will go towards the assistance, protection and advocacy that UNRWA provides for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Accepting the donation, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi thanked the Dutch Government, stating: “We rely on strong partners like the Netherlands to keep our much needed programmes for Palestine refugees operational. We are extremely grateful to the Government and the people of the Netherlands for their consistent and generous support.”
“The Netherlands wishes to extend its deep appreciation to UNWRA for their great effort and dedication in assisting Palestine Refugees, often under difficult and complex circumstances”, said Dutch Representative to the Palestinian Authority and to UNRWA Birgitta Tazelaar.
She continued: “As donors and host countries alike face difficult economic situations, they have to make choices on how to spend their money, while at the same time the number of refugees supported by UNRWA continuous to grow and the Syrian crisis is creating more challenges. This makes it extremely important that UNRWA continues its efforts to further improve the efficiency of the organization and the transparency of the budget that shows refugees, governments and taxpayers how funds are being spent. The Netherlands has full confidence that UNRWA will live up to this challenge and will continue to support UNRWA in this process.”
The Netherlands government has been a longstanding partner of UNRWA, and in 2012 was the Agency’s seventh-largest donor.
UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.