EU announces vital €92 million contribution in support of UNRWA’s operations

The European Union has disbursed an essential payment of €92 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, said: “We remain determined to support UNRWA both politically and financially, including by providing long term reliability. The Agency plays an essential role in providing vital services to millions of Palestine refugees and stabilising the region. Our support to UNRWA is not only a humanitarian duty; it also helps to keep alive the prospects of sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. UNRWA’s services remain key to contribute to a viable negotiated two-State solution, including a fair, agreed and realistic solution to the refugee issue.”

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “The EU is reliable and predictable partner, and a top donor of UNRWA. UNRWA plays a stabilising role in the region. It must continue to do so, with a clear focus on its core mandate. We will leave no issue off the table in finding innovative approaches to find a sustainable financing model. Others need to step up and join the EU and EU Member states in providing predictable multiannual funding. We will continue to work with UNRWA to strengthen the Agency’s governance systems and help step up transparency and sound management. We remain also firmly committed to promote quality education for Palestinian children and ensure full compliance with UNESCO standards in education material.”

This funding constitutes the annual EU financial assistance to UNRWA and will contribute to maintaining basic living conditions and support the human development of Palestinian refugees by ensuring the continuity of essential services in the framework of its programme budget (€90 million) and by supporting UNRWA reforms (€2 million).