Secretary General, President,
The strong international support for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) became especially clear last year when the agency faced an unprecedented financial crisis. This mobilized both existing and new donors. Impressively all pledges were delivered upon, and the agency was enable to sustain its operations, delivering essential services and employment to the over 5,3 million Palestine refugees it serves.
Still, we cannot stop our efforts just yet. UNRWA’s continued ability to maintain operations requires sustained engagement and support from all of us.
Norway is a long-time and consistent partner for UNRWA. This year like last year, we made sure to pay our annual core budget support of USD 14,7 million (NOK 125 million) in full early in the year. We also announced and paid USD 11,7 million (NOK 100 million) in humanitarian support this April.
I am pleased to announce additional support today: in light of the unmet needs in Gaza, we have decided to allocate USD 2 million (NOK 17 million) in humanitarian support to UNRWA’s emergency appeal for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In this situation, absent a political resolution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, UNRWA is indispensable. As a service provider, as an employer and as a regional stabilizer.
Norway encourages other donors – both existing donors and new donors to do what they can to make sure UNRWA remains able to deliver their quality services until a just and agreed political solution has been found for the Palestine refugees. Upholding the agency’s mandate from this Assembly from 1949 remains our shared responsibility.