The European Union has signed an additional contribution of €9.5 million to the 2017 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in response to a call to donors to help close a shortfall that could impact its key services such as education and health-care.
The announcement was made during a meeting between UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl and EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month. This contribution comes in addition to the disbursement earlier this year of €82 million for UNRWA.
The new contribution will help preserve access to education for 500,000 children, provide primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients and assistance to over 250,000 acutely vulnerable Palestine refugees.
Since 1971, the European Union and UNRWA have maintained a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East.
Today, the European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. This reliable and predictable support from the European Union enables UNRWA to provide core services to more than 5 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, including quality education for roughly half a million children and primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients.