Brunei’s support for Palestinians hailed

James Kon

The continuous support from the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam is vital to help half a million Palestinian children go to school every day and three million Palestinians to receive basic healthcare on an annual basis.

About a million people in Gaza receive basic food because of Gaza being under blockade for 11 years.

Therefore it is critical for these people to receive support from Brunei Darussalam and other countries.

The vital contribution made by the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam was acknowledged by Director of Strategic Partnership from the United Nations (UN) Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Abdi Aynte during an interview on the sidelines of the handing over of the donation from monies raised in the Humanity Assistance Fund project for Palestine Refugees through the “Dignity Is Priceless” campaign on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are here today to celebrate a very successful partnership that we have with the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Brunei Darussalam to support the services that we provide to Palestine refugees,” said Aynte.

“There are 5.4 million Palestinian refugees with us and we provide basic assistance to them, including education to more than half a million children and basic healthcare to millions of others.”

Director of Strategic Partnership from United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Abdi Aynte with Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yussof, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud and other senior officials
Minister of Religious Affairs presents a mock cheque to Director of Strategic Partnership from UNRWA. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

“We have more than 700 schools and more than 150 clinics and hospitals in various areas including Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

“As a UN agency we were tasked by UN General Assembly to provide these services to Palestinian refugees until there is a just and lasting solution.”

On the partnership of Brunei and the UNRWA, he said, “We have been partnering with the government of Brunei Darussalam especially the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) to ensure that the services are sustained and continued.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of the people of Brunei as well as the Government of Brunei and its leadership.

“This shows that the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam are very strongly in solidarity with the Palestinians.”

Describing the plight of the Palestinian refugees, he said, “This is one of the longest standing crises in the world for more than 70 years. You can imagine a community that has been displaced that long.

“They would like to be like everyone else, to have their dignity, to be able to continue their life, but until there is a just and lasting solution to the political problem that won’t happen.

“That is why we will continue to provide the services with the support of the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam.”

He added that the Government of Brunei Darussalam “has been contributing to the UNRWA for many years and we hope to be able to continue this partnership”.