The Government of Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Agency Cooperation (SIDA), has contributed $6.6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to support the Agency’s emergency response to the Syria regional crisis and the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), according to an UNRWA statement.

This latest contribution from Sweden will enable interventions under the Agency’s emergency appeals that are included in the Humanitarian Response Plans for Syria and the oPt, and the UN-coordinated appeals in Jordan and Lebanon, helping UNRWA to ensure that Palestine refugees affected by these crises are provided with protection, humanitarian assistance, food assistance and basic services to help alleviate their suffering.

“The ongoing crisis in Syria and the situation in the oPt continue to present protection risks and humanitarian concerns for Palestine refugees throughout the region,” said Francoise Vanni, the director of External Relations and Communications at UNRWA. “Within this context, the support of our partners remains crucial in enabling UNRWA to address the humanitarian and human development needs of conflict-affected refugees, so that they may maintain their resilience and keep hope for the future,” he said.

“As such, we are deeply grateful to Sweden for their strong partnership and generous contribution to our emergency interventions in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the oPt, which will allow UNRWA to continue delivering food and cash assistance, education in emergencies, shelter, psychosocial support, environmental health, and other critical front-line services to Palestine refugees.”

According to WAFA, Sweden has long been a reliable and consistent supporter of UNRWA and remains one of the Agency’s top donors, said the statement.

In 2016, Sweden contributed $58.2 million to UNRWA, placing them among the top five donors to the Agency’s core programs and services and making them the sixth largest overall donor.