JERUSALEM, Wednesday, March 01, 2023 (WAFA) – The European Union (EU) Tuesday contributed EUR 82 million to the United Nations agency responsible for and reaffirmed commitment to Palestinian refugees.
EU said in a press release that “through this contribution ]to UNRWA[, and in line with the EU-UNRWA Joint Declaration 2021-2024, the EU continues to provide vital, reliable and predictable support to enable the Agency to fulfill its mandate, protect and assist Palestine refugees, and play a stabilizing role in the region.”
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) this week. Through this contribution, and in line with the EU-UNRWA Joint Declaration 2021-2024, the EU continues to provide vital, reliable and predictable support to enable the Agency to fulfil its mandate, protect and assist Palestine refugees, and play a stabilizing role in the region.
“I am extremely grateful for the European Union’s strong and reliable support to UNRWA and to the millions of Palestine refugees we serve,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.
“The EU’s multiyear funding reaffirms the commitment of the EU to Palestine refugees’ well-being and rights until a just and lasting solution to their plight,” he added.
“The Agency remains committed to the highest standards of transparency and efficiency in the management of its operations, putting refugees’ interest at its centre. EU's donations will help us sustain vital services across the region, including education for over half a million girls and boys and sends a message of hope at a time Palestine refugees struggle through the worst socio-economic conditions in years,” he went on to say.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff said: “UNRWA’s contribution to the lives of Palestine refugees remains indispensable and its role in maintaining stability in this extremely complex and challenging region is undisputed.”
He stressed that “This EUR 82 million package demonstrates once again our long-standing commitment and support to the Agency and its 28,000 staff on the ground in delivering core services across its five fields of operations.”
“We all have a collective responsibility towards Palestine refugees to sustain UNRWA’s work, and we should to this effect, provide predictable and reliable multi-annual funding,” he added while pointing that “the Agency’s financial situation remains critical and additional support from a wider donor community is urgently needed to prevent any interruptions in its services.”
He pledged that “the EU and its Member States will continue to support UNRWA, encourage internal reforms, and contribute to better serving Palestine refugees. By this, we keep the hope alive as we work towards a better future for Palestine refugees, including by restoring a political horizon.”
The statement concluded by making reference to the fact that “the EU is the third-largest donor to the Agency, having contributed to the Agency’s Programme Budget EUR 97 million in 2022. The predictable and reliable support of the EU has enabled UNRWA to provide essential frontline services to Palestine refugees including in health, education, social services and camp improvements across the five fields of operations. In the absence of a political solution to the conflict, the EU has become a key strategic partner for the Agency, supporting its efforts to help Palestine refugees achieve their full human development potential despite unprecedented challenges.”