Saudi Arabia donates $86m to UN's Palestine projects

Gulf kingdom agrees funding for refugee projects in the West Bank, Lebanon and Gaza
The Palestinian flag. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 01 Jun 2013 11:01 AM

Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), has donated $86m to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) for projects in the West Bank, Lebanon and Gaza.

The first agreement worth $14m is for five projects in the West Bank, including the reconstruction and equipping of Hebron Health Centre, Aroub Boys School, Ein Sultan School, Balata Boys School, and the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 930 housing units.

The second agreement worth $54.5m represents one of Saudi Arabia's contributions to the GCC's Programme for the Reconstruction of Gaza and covers the reconstruction and rehabilitation of more than 1,000 housing units and the construction, equipping and furnishing of six schools.

The third agreement worth $17.5m includes $7.5m to improve the living conditions in Ein el-Hilweh Camp, South Lebanon, and $10m towards the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared Camp in North Lebanon which will raise the total donation of Saudi Arabia for Nahr el Bared to $35m.

The three agreements were signed in Riyadh by SFD vice-chairman and managing director Yousef Al Bassam and UNRWA's commissioner-general Filippo Grandi.

"Each of these agreements is valuable," said Grandi. "It is well known that the infrastructure of our refugee camps in the West Bank needs attention. This is more true of camps in Lebanon like Ein el-Helweh.

He added: "It is also clear that the huge Nahr el-Bared camp rebuilding project desperately needs more funding, and that Gaza has multiple needs as it continues to face a blockade which paralyses most of its economic activity.

"We and the refugees we serve are immensely grateful to the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques for providing the necessary direction to the concerned government agencies to help UNRWA in this open-handed way."

Saudi Arabia through the SFD is one of UNRWA's major donors and the foremost Arab donor.

Projects funded by Saudi Arabia have included contributions to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, support to UNRWA core activities in health, education and relief and social services, as well as the flagship Saudi project to rehouse Palestine refugees in Rafah, phase I of which was inaugurated in February this year.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.