An elderly female protester stands outside the gate of the UN Relief and Works Agency office in Gaza in this file picture. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has contributed $25 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) through its embassy in the Jordanian capital Amman, local media reported.

In a statement, UNRWA said the contribution is part of a larger commitment pledged by the Kingdom to help the agency maintain the important services it provides to a total of 5.6 million Palestine refugees.

The statement quoted UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini as saying that “At a time of regional political turmoil, pandemic and economic and financial crises, Palestine refugees will know that their rights and wellbeing are not being questioned and that Saudi Arabia stands by them.”

The United States was UNRWA’s top donor and funded about 30 per cent of its operations in the region. But it announced the suspension of its funding in 2018.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia contributed $50 million to UNRWA to help fill the shortage created by the US decision.

Over the years, its strong support has also transpired through increased funding for food aid, infrastructure, and health-related projects by KSRelief and the Saudi Fund for Development totalling more than $800 million.

Saudi Arabia reconstructed and repaired about 250 affected houses for Palestinian refugees in Gaza Strip, the statement noted.