On 24 May 2014 thousands gathered in a festive, peaceful and sunny celebration of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. The event, organised by Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP) gathered 25 Belgian civil society organisations as well as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
UNRWA’s Representative Office to the EU in Brussels provided information on the EU-UNRWA partnership now lasting for 45 years. At the UNRWA Info-tent, visitors learned about UNRWA’s human development, humanitarian and protection activities for over 5 million registered Palestine refugees living in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The information provided and the games organized highlighted the important contributions of the EU to Palestine refugees. More than 120 children made and flew their own kites - like the children in Gaza who broke the Guinness World Record in 2011 for flying the most kites at the same time.
Since 1971, the European Union has entered into a strategic partnership with UNRWA that is governed by the mutual objective to promote stability in the Near East, facilitate the quest for peace, and to advocate for the support of the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees. The EU is currently the largest multilateral UNRWA donor and has regularly supported UNRWA, contributing over EUR 949 million from 2007 to 2013 alone. This financial support, when combined with contributions from EU member states, represents 57 per cent of UNRWA’s operational budget.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 69 million.
For more information, please contact:
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
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UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724