The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini recognised the essential role of the UN RWA Agency, Providing assistance and protection for some five million registered Palestine refugees to help them achieve their full potential in human development.
“With its tireless work, UNRWA keeps supporting Palestine refugees, providing education, promoting socio-economic development and stability in the Middle East,” she said. “The international support is key to UNRWA: the European Union will keep investing in one of the pillars of its Middle East peace policy.”
“The European Union is committed to support UNRWA in further reform efforts, building on the important work underway, to ensure the provision of quality core services to vulnerable Palestine refugees. I am delighted that the EU/UNRWA partnership will from 2017 take an increasingly visible form in support to selected schools and health clinics,” said Commissioner Hahn.
“For the past four decades, the European Union has stood shoulder to shoulder with UNRWA, both providing the necessary humanitarian assistance in times of crisis and supporting the long-term human development of Palestine refugees,” he said. “Today, the European Union’s strong and reliable support – both political and financial – continues to be instrumental in mitigating the impact of multiple regional crises. It also strengthens the dignity and preserves hope for millions of Palestine refugees.” – Pierre Krähenbühl thanked the European Union for its long-standing commitment.
In the Joint Declaration, the European Union committed to continue assisting UNRWA in securing financial resources to enable the Agency to support Palestine refugees. The EU will essentially contribute to the funding of quality education for 500,000 children, primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients and assistance to over 250,000 acutely vulnerable Palestine refugees.
On the margins of the signing ceremony, the European Union and UNRWA announced the disbursement of a EUR 82 million commitment to the UNRWA Programme Budget for 2017. Among others, this will help pay the salaries of 32,000 local UNRWA staff, most of whom are Palestine refugees themselves, and contribute to the running costs of close to 700 UNRWA schools and 140 UNRWA health-care centres.
Collectively, the EU and its Member States are also among the largest contributors to the Agency’s humanitarian emergency appeals and projects in response to various crises and specific needs across the region.
In addition to the EUR 82 million EU contribution to the Programme Budget in 2017, the EU does fund ad hoc projects to respond to specific needs.