WASHINGTON, 5th February, 2016 (WAM)–Saudi Arabia has donated $59 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as part of a three-way deal.

The money will provide support to shelters, schools and health centres in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan.

“I am extremely grateful to the government and the people of Saudi Arabia for the sustained support that the Kingdom has extended to UNRWA over the years,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in London.

Krahenbuhl had just signed the agreements with Yousef al-Bassam, managing director of the Saudi Fund for Development.

“Their contributions have made an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of Palestine refugees. I would like to express particular appreciation for the role played by the Saudi Fund for Development in delivering Saudi assistance. Our partnership with the Fund is deeply rewarding,” added Krahenbuhl.

The first agreement, worth $43.5 million, will support ongoing projects in Gaza. This will include maintaining three UNRWA schools and repairing more than 7,500 shelters for those whose homes were damaged during the 2014 conflict with Israel.

Palestinian refugees in Jordan will benefit from the second agreement, which will see $8 million provided to help maintain nine UNRWA schools and ten health centres in the kingdom.

The third agreement of $7.5 million will provide funds to reconstruct, furnish and equip three health centres in the occupied West Bank.

Saudi Arabia is the agency’s third-largest donor, and has given more than $500 million to UNRWA.