The visit of Johannes Hahn, European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, to UNRWA schools in Beddawi camp on 27 March was an important and welcomed visit by UNRWA. The EU is now the most generous and consistent donor to the Agency and is actively mobilizing stakeholders to secure further support for the Agency to bridge the 2018 funding shortfall.
In Beddawi camp, Commissioner Hahn reiterated the EU’s strong political and financial support to the Palestinians and to UNRWA’s vital role particularly at a time in which the Agency is experiencing its most serious financial crisis. UNRWA, in partnership with the EU and other stakeholders, is committed to ensuring its essential services are protected and is working day and night to address the crisis.
In connection with this visit comments have been made regarding removal of a map at the school in Beddawi. This issue was addressed by UNRWA’s management in accordance with the Agency’s policies and procedures. The removal of the map was not linked in any way to any request by the EU.
UNRWA, as a historic witness to the plight of Palestine refugees, reiterates its deep respect for their identity and for their history, and emphasizes that their dignity and rights are not for sale and must be protected. In the existing spirit of dialogue, solidarity and partnership, UNRWA remains ready to further discussing with the community its policies including neutrality.
UNRWA calls again on all local and international partners to provide the support needed so that the Agency can fully play its role as provider of critical services pending a fair and just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees.