5 December 2012
Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan Marta Colburn and European Union Ambassador and Head of Delegation in Amman HE Joanna Wronecka today visited the rehabilitated home of a Palestine refugee family in Baqaa camp, Jordan.
Funded by the European Union, the shelter rehabilitation project was part of a series of volunteer days held across UNRWA’s fields of operation. Ten UNRWA staff members, three daily paid laborers, four students from UNRWA's Wadi Seer Training Centre and five members of the local community volunteered their time to assist in the rehabilitation.
The shelter was in a very poor condition, causing hardship for the family particularly during the cold and rainy winter and hot summer seasons.
”I'm glad to be here in Baqaa today and to see first-hand the work that has been done to rehabilitate this shelter,” said Ms. Wronecka.
“Projects targeting shelter rehabilitation create a tangible difference in people's lives by providing clean, safe and healthy accommodation. The EU aims to continue its strong support to UNRWA in improving the living conditions of vulnerable refugees."
Ms. Colburn thanked the Ambassador for the EU’s generous contribution to help this particular Palestine refugee family, saying: “Today’s event focused on the challenging situation of one family in Baqaa camp, but represents a commitment by UNRWA and the EU to improve the situation of similarly vulnerable Palestine refugee families in other locations in Jordan.
“The EU is a key partner in supporting Palestine refugees and UNRWA in addressing many needs in Jordan and in other locations of the Agency’s operations. Today’s event symbolizes the commitment by EU citizens to the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. This solidarity is deeply appreciated.”
Today’s event was also attended by representatives from the Department of Palestinian Affairs, volunteers and a select group of notables and UNRWA employees.
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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, microfinance and emergency assistance.
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, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.
The European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. Over the period from 2000 to 2012, the European Union, excluding EU Member State contributions has provided more than EUR1.4 billion support to UNRWA. This funding has enabled human development for the most vulnerable Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
For more information:
Anwar Abu Sakieneh
UNRWA Public Information Officer in Jordan