UNRWA Signs Agreement With Government of Andalucía

30 November 2009

30 November 2009


The Andalusian International Development Cooperation Agency of the Regional Government of Andalucía (AACID) and UNRWA today signed a memorandum of understanding.

The agreement establishes a formal framework of cooperation between the two organisations, which will further co-operation and humanitarian aid programmes that contribute to improving Palestine refugees’ living conditions.

As part of the arrangement, a partnership programme will be set up, with further agreements made between AACID and UNRWA every year.

This arrangement greatly benefits the Agency by providing flexibility in how best to serve its beneficiaries, and it highlights the value of partners that understand UNRWA’s needs. This type of long-term partnership gives the Agency greater financial security and allows it to plan its services with confidence.

For 2010, AACID will contribute EUR€1.8 million towards improving maternal and child health in the Palestinian refugee camps. The programme will provide perinatal care, part of the first phase of UNRWA’s life-cycle approach to healthcare.

This agreement forms part of the co-operative relations maintained by the government of Spain with UNRWA, in the context of the poverty and need in which Palestine refugees live.

Background Information

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 more than US$ 106  million.

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