PRESS RELEASE
13 January 2009

Japan supports UNRWA’s Gaza Flash Appeal

The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 3 million to UNRWA in response to its Flash Appeal for Gaza. This contribution is part of a package of US$10 million in aid, which was announced on 3 January by Prime Minister, Mr. Taro Aso. The assistance will mainly consist of food commodities. It will help UNRWA alleviate the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Japan has been a long-time partner of UNRWA, supporting all the Agency’s funds and efforts in all its five fields of operation. Over the last eight years, Japan has contributed a total of $136 million. The Commissioner-General expressed her gratitude for the timely and generous donation of the Government of Japan. She said: "We know that we can count on the support of this country, especially in times of crisis. Japan has always been a friend of UNRWA."

Japan traditionally supports UNRWA’s Food Aid activities for the poorest of the refugees in the region. Its contribution to this programme in 2008 amounted to over US$ 5.7 million. The government of Japan has also assisted UNRWA’s Emergencies in Lebanon and has recently provided staff to the Agency.