JAPAN PROVIDES CASH ASSISTANCE TO PRS WOMEN-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS

03 April 2015

Beirut

Palestine refugees who fled the conflict in Syria and sought refuge in Lebanon (PRS) are facing harsh living conditions and struggling to meet the basic needs of their families’ daily life. PRS women-headed households with children are in a particularly vulnerable situation during the harsh winter months. In response to their hardship, the Government of Japan is donating funds to support PRS women-headed households with children, in the form of cash assistance through UNRWA in Lebanon.

“This grant was offered from the people of Japan as a sign of friendship with Palestinians. I sincerely wish for the health and safety of the PRS families despite the hardships they face,” stated H.E. Seiichi Otsuka, the Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon.

Thanking Japan for its long-standing generous support to UNRWA, Deputy Director of UNRWA in Lebanon Heli Uusikyla welcomed the donation, which benefitted over 1200 women-headed households with children. In most cases, these women have supported their families through the cold winter months with only limited winter assistance. This assistance would help addressing their growing needs.

Over 1,200 women-headed households with children will receive 60,000 Lebanese pounds (US$ 40) each, which will be channeled through UNRWA ATM cards.

Japan has provided long-standing, critical assistance to UNRWA to support the needs of Palestine refugees and improve their living conditions across the region. In 2014, Japan was the ninth largest contributor to UNRWA, supporting urgent relief and recovery needs in Gaza, emergency assistance for Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, and the continuation of essential UNRWA services. Most recently, Japan generously donated US$ 32.2 million to UNRWA, its largest ever one-time donation to the Agency.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 100 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness

UNRWA Spokesperson

Mobile:

+972 (0)54 240 2659

Office:

+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha

Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson

Mobile:

+972 (0)54 216 8295

Office:

+972 (0)2 589 0724

Zizette Darkazally

Public Information Officer – Lebanon Field Office

Mobile:

+ 961 (0)1 840 490

Office:

+ 961 (0)1 840 490