Saudi Arabia to support Palestinian refugees through UNRWA

Saudi Arabia to support Palestinian refugees through UNRWA
Analysis: Saudi Arabia has announced a large package to aid Palestinian refugees across the region that will be administered through the UN.
2 min read
21 May, 2015
The reconstruction of Gaza is moving ahead slowly [Getty]

UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced on Wednesday it had signed seven agreements with the Saudi government, worth $111.5 million, for the assistance of Palestinian refugees across the region.

Al-Araby al-Jadeed recently learned Saudi Arabia has decided to support the reconstruction of Gaza after last year's summer war in Gaza directly through committees created specifically for this purpose, as well as through UNRWA.

The reconstruction of Gaza is moving slowly, despite Arab and international pledges of nearly $5.4 billion.

Saudi Arabia's donations cover all five regions where UNRWA operates. A total of $10 million was allocated for refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, whether they were in Syria, Jordan or Lebanon.

In addition, $15 million was allocated for the resumption of the reconstruction of Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, while $74 million will cover the repair of Gaza houses destroyed during last summer's aggression, as well as health and education programmes in Gaza.

According to sources in the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Saudi decision is part of the recent positive engagement between Hamas and Riyadh, even though the latter continues to offer financial support to and enjoy excellent relations with the PA.

A senior PA official said President Mahmoud Abbas' administration believed Saudi Arabia was trying to remain neutral, and that Riyadh wanted to resume its relations with Hamas, which had been cut off since 2007, but not at the expense of the relations with the PA and Fateh.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.