On Sunday, 25 October, 26 UN Agencies gathered on Brussels’ main square, the Grand Place, to celebrate the annual UN Day, a day of information, activities and festivities organized to celebrate the establishment of the United Nations. This year’s edition marked the seventieth anniversary of the multinational institution and was dedicated to the people of the United Nations – the ones that the UN serves and the ones that serve the UN.
A proactive participant of the celebration, UNRWA seized this opportunity to inform the general public (Belgians and foreigners alike) about the fate of Palestine refugees; the work of UNRWA to support and assist them in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; and the 44-year partnership between the EU and UNRWA.
Through a series of games and activities for both kids and adults, the Agency showcased and illustrated the European Union’s commitment to the human development, humanitarian assistance and protection of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Specific emphasis was given to EU support for Palestine refugee children and youth as part of the UNRWA education and health care programmes.
THE EU-UNRWA PARTNERSHIP
The EU is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees, providing crucial and reliable support to UNRWA since 1971. Between 2007 and 2014, the EU contributed over EUR 1 billion (US$ 1.44 billion) in support of UNRWA, including EUR 809 million for the Agency’s core programmes and services. In addition, the EU has generously contributed to UNRWA humanitarian emergency appeals and projects in response to various crises and specific needs across the region. EU Member States provide additional crucial support to the Agency. The partnership between the EU and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestine refugees to be better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, thus contributing to the development of the entire region. In June this year, the EU contributed EUR 82 million towards the Agency’s core programme budget.
To learn more about the EU-UNRWA Partnership, its nature and its achievements, please consult the EU-UNRWA Partnership leaflet available in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Arabic.