Who is American Friends of UNRWA (AFU)?
AFU is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports the work of UNRWA through fundraising, education, and advocacy. AFU aims to educate the American public about the plight of Palestinian refugees and generate support for UNRWA’s work.
Why should I make my donation to AFU instead of giving directly to UNRWA?
AFU’s status as a 501(c)(3) registered with the IRS allows you to make tax deductible donations to the fullest extent allowed by law. 90% of donations made to UNRWA programs go directly to the project itself.
Stock donations to AFU are also tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
What is UNRWA?
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established under UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV), on December 8, 1949, to provide direct relief to persons displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli Conflict. UNRWA began field operations on May 1, 1950.
What does UNRWA do?
UNRWA provides direct humanitarian aid, human development, and protection for approximately 5 million Palestine refugees registered with the Agency and living in one of its five fields of operation.
Where does UNRWA work?
- The West Bank and East Jerusalem
- The Gaza Strip
Where does UNRWA get its funding?
Approximately 98% of UNRWA’s annual budget comes from voluntary contributions from donor states, such as the United States, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, and Nordic States, individual donors, and NGOs. Reductions in donor states’ contributions due to the slow economic recovery have left UNRWA with significant budget shortfalls, making contributions from private donors, such as individuals and foundations, all the more crucial.
What is the largest portion of UNRWA’s budget?
More than half of UNRWA’s regular budget is devoted to education. UNRWA believes that education is essential to Palestinians’ future and to stability in the region. UNRWA's education programs aim to encourage a tolerant and empowered Palestinian population who can serve as partners in peace.
Why is UNRWA separate from UNHCR?
UNRWA was established prior to the 1951 Convention on Refugees, it is a temporary Agency, which reports directly to the UN General Assembly, and it is the only UN Agency with a specific geographic focus. Because of its unique mandate limiting both its geographic and temporal operations and because the Agency was formed to provide direct services pending a just solution to the Palestine refugee crisis, UNRWA was intentionally excluded from the 1951 internal law regime governing refugee issues.
The UNHCR may provide relief to Palestine refugees outside of UNRWA's fields of operation.
If UNRWA was set up as a temporary agency, why is it still working after 60 years?
The UN General Assembly has affirmed “the necessity for the continuation of the work” of UNRWA and “the importance of its unimpeded operation and its provision of services for the well-being and human development of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region.” The General Assembly has renewed UNRWA's mandate repeatedly pending the just resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees.
Is UNRWA Involved in Middle East Peace Negotiations?
No. UNRWA is a humanitarian organization. Its mandate limits UNRWA’s functions to providing aid to the refugees. However, UNRWA does highlight the international community’s obligation to ensure the protection and human rights of its beneficiaries, the Palestine refugees registered with the Agency.
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