BEIRUT: The World Food Program (WFP) signed an agreement Friday to fund 50 percent of the UNWRA food program designated for Palestinian refugees who have entered Lebanon from Syria.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and WFP signed the memorandum of understanding at the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, in Yarze.
Under the agreement, a $30 credit will be given monthly by UNRWA to each individual Palestinian refugee who has fled the violence in Syria, the agency's press release said.
The amount is equal to the one assigned by WFP’s regional project.
“This is an encouraging example of how cooperation among partners within and outside the UN system can help ease some of the suffering of the Palestinian refugees from Syria,” Plumbly said, welcoming the initiative.
According to Ann Dismorr, UNRWA’s director in Lebanon, “the Palestinian refugees from Syria rely heavily on UNRWA’s services and are increasingly vulnerable, especially since May, when further restrictions were introduced that limited their freedom of movement.”
“They have limited access to work in Lebanon and for many families, if not most, UNRWA’s cash assistance is their only source of income,” she added.
WFP's country director in Lebanon, Imad Osman Saleh, also welcomed this new partnership between the two agencies.
“We are confident that this cooperation will be fruitful and will lead to the improvement of the situation of the Palestinian communities from Syria, especially in terms of food security,” he said, addressing a crowd of officials, diplomats and U.N. agencies' heads.
While UNRWA depends on voluntary contributions for 97 percent of its budget, the agency has been suffering from a significant deficit, which has reached $54 million in 2014, according to the press release.