U.S. builds Palestinian refugee community center


(JTA) — A new community center built with a $1.4 million donation from the United States was opened in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria.

The center inaugurated Wednesday will be used by the nearly 144,000 Palestinian refugees living in the refugee camp, according to the United States State Department. Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Republic Government, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East attended Wednesday’s opening, according to a State Department news release.

The United States provided over $267 million to UNRWA in 2009. The U.S. has donated over $115 million to UNRWA so far in 2010, including $60 million for the General Fund, which supports core services for 4.7 million refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, such as providing education for nearly 500,000 Palestinian children in 691 UNRWA schools.

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