Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Iceland signed a multi-year framework agreement that will see Iceland contribute ISK 25 million (approximately US$ 250,000) per year to support UNRWA human development work over the period between 2018 and 2021 for a total of US$ 1 million.
The multi-year agreement was signed during a ceremony at the Iceland Permanent Mission in New York by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, and the Director of the UNRWA Representative Office in New York, Peter Mulrean. This is the first multi-year agreement between UNRWA and the government of Iceland and represents an increase of US$50,000 of the annual baseline contribution.
UNRWA and Iceland Sign First Ever Multi-Year Agreement in the Total Value of US$ 1 Million.
The four-year contribution will help the Agency sustain its human development programmes for nearly five million Palestine refugees, including education for 500,000 children and primary health service to refugees in 138 health facilities throughout the Middle East.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson said: “Iceland is a longstanding supporter of UNRWA and this agreement confirms our commitment. Our government has committed to increasing our ODA over the next five years. In line with our commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, we have focused on providing predictable financing to allow agencies such as UNRWA to plan ahead and use our contribution efficiently for the benefit of those in need. In light of the ongoing conflict in the region, we must ensure quality education for children and the provision of basic health services.
Thanking Iceland, Mulrean said:
“Multi-year agreements, like the one signed with Iceland, provide valued stability. I thank the government and people of Iceland for their long standing and generous support for Palestine refugees and for the substantial increase in their baseline contribution. This contribution helps ensure that UNRWA can continue to provide crucial human development aid to Palestine refugees in all areas of UNRWA operations.”
Iceland has been a strong supporter of UNRWA development assistance, while also contributing to emergency appeals in support of the Agency humanitarian work. In 2017, Iceland contributed US$ 500,000 for human development aid and various projects.
Original source: UN Relief and Works Agency
Published on 7 February 2018