Saudi Arabia to chair UNRWA Advisory Commission

June 1, 2010

Saudi Arabia will hold the rotating chairmanship of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an organization that provides aid to 4.7 million Palestinian refugees spread out in 58 camps. When it assumes the chairmanship in July, the Kingdom will be the first Arab donor country to hold that position. The Advisory Commission is a body made up of representatives from 23 countries who advise the UNRWA Commissioner-General on policies and operations.

During a visit to the Kingdom, last week, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi called Saudi Arabia “a crucial partner” that provides the Palestinians “political, moral and financial” support. He noted, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very important donor. Last year, for example, its one single donation of US $25 million was for the reconstruction of the Nahr Al-Barid – a refugee camp in north of Lebanon which was destroyed in a conflict three years ago. This was the largest single contribution to the construction of the kind. Additionally, the Kingdom has been not only supporting emergencies like those in Gaza or Lebanon, but also it has been carrying out regular programs in domains of health, education and social services.”

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