SA gives R2 million to Palestinian body

By Drum Digital
09 October 2012

South Africa will contribute R2 million to the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees, Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Tuesday.

"A contribution of R2 million is being made towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)," he said in a statement.

Ebrahim said UNRWA was the largest and only agency established by the United Nations (UN) to carry out direct relief and work programmes for Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

"The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live."

UNRWA provides services such as education, health, relief, social services, microfinance, community support, and emergency aid to over five million registered Palestine refugees in the Middle East, Ebrahim said.

"South Africa contributes annually to the agency and other UN humanitarian agencies in accordance with its commitment to the alleviation of human suffering through international humanitarian assistance."

South Africa contributed to UNRWA in line with a UN resolution that encourages members to support the agency.

"In the absence of a durable solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2014," Ebrahim said.

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