In the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, a memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday 16 May in Doha by the UNRWA Commissioner- General, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl and the Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development, His Excellency Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari, to safeguard Palestinian refugees’ access to essential education in 2018, through a generous contribution of $ 50 million by the State of Qatar.
These funds will be utilized immediately to sustain the UNRWA’s education services in all five fields of operations, namely Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, between June and October of this year. The State of Qatar announced the pledge at the UNRWA Extraordinary Ministerial Conference that took place in Rome on 15 March 2018. This was the largest financial commitment made during the Conference, which was held to address the Agency’s critical funding shortfall.
UNRWA Commissioner-General, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl expressed his profound appreciation to the State of Qatar for this vital contribution and said: “The outstanding demonstration of support by the State of Qatar and the Qatar Fund for Development will not only help stabilize UNRWA’s funding for its operations this year, but it will also encourage other partners to strengthen their commitments and join our efforts to prevent a major humanitarian crisis”. “I wish to thank the State of Qatar, the Qatar Fund for Development and the Qatari people for this remarkable contribution of 50 million US Dollars, and I look forward to an enhanced and deepened partnership between the Agency and Qatar,” continued Mr. Krähenbühl.
The Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development, H.E. Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari stated: “This agreement is an affirmation of the State of Qatar’s firm position in support of the Palestinian cause. It also emphasizes the importance that our country places in the education sector, and our belief that education has a key role in building a decent life and a better future for our Palestinian brothers. Therefore, the entire grant amount was allocated to support the education sector. Under its wise leadership, the State of Qatar will continue deploying developmental and humanitarian efforts to serve the Palestinian people in a sustainable manner.” His Excellency added: “we support the pivotal role played by UNRWA, and we are confident that the Agency will be able to use these resources efficiently and effectively”.
Through this generous contribution, the State of Qatar becomes one of the top donors to UNRWA’s core operations in 2018. The funding will allow the continued delivery of the Agency’s core services across the region during this period of dramatic financial crisis and political upheaval.