Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK pledges £10m to support Palestinian refugees – UNRWA Pledging Conference [June 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 2 June 2023.

Statement by UK Political Coordinator Fergus Eckersley at the UNRWA Pledging Conference.

First of all we would like to thank Leen Sharqawi and Ahmed Abu Daqqa for their very powerful statements. A reminder, if we needed it, that UNRWA continues to provide a vital beacon of hope for Palestinians.

President, the UK also believes UNRWA plays a critical role in preserving stability in the Middle East in its education services to around 543,000 students, access to health services to 1.9 million refugees, and protection assistance to 5.9 million refugees.

It has also provided 32,000 loans to support sustainable income-generating opportunities. It helps the most vulnerable Palestinian refugees not only to survive but to thrive.

UNRWA cannot do this alone, but relies on us, the international community, to show our support to and solidarity with Palestinian refugees. I am pleased to announce that the UK will pledge £10m [$12.5m USD] to support it in delivering high-quality services.

However, UNRWA faces several financial challenges. It is working to meet this challenge head-on by developing a robust Resource Mobilisation and Outreach Strategy. The international community must collectively support this strategy, and help to address the chronic funding shortfalls by providing predictable, multi-year funding.

We welcome the pledges from others and we support creative thinking about other means to ensure UNRWA’s financial viability to implement its mandate.

The UK continues to believe that a negotiated, two-state solution is the only viable means of bringing the peace and stability that both Palestinians and Israelis desire. Until then, the UK remains steadfast in its commitment to UNRWA and to Palestinian refugees.