EU Contributes €66 Million to UNRWA’s Core Budget

03 March 2010


3 March 2010

The European Union Representative, Christian Berger, and the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, today signed an agreement for €66 million towards UNRWA’s General Fund.

The EU contribution is the largest single donation to UNRWA’s core budget, which supports the Agency’s regular activities in education, health, relief and social services and camp improvement. The grant will fund these essential services to Palestine refugees throughout Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Speaking to the press in UNRWA’s warehouse in Jerusalem, Mr Grandi thanked the EU for its continuous support of UNRWA. “This donation towards our core programmes is yet another demonstration of the commitment of the European Union to our human development work, bringing education in particular to the next generation of Palestinians,” said Grandi.

The European Union Representative Christian Berger commended UNRWA’s work to ensure that the Palestine refugees receive human development and humanitarian assistance until a just and lasting peace is achieved. Mr Berger emphasised the EU’s longstanding contribution to UNRWA‘s role as a stabilising factor in the Middle East, as an educator for many generations of Palestinian children; and as a safety net for the poor and most vulnerable refugees in the camps.

Mr Berger said: “UNRWA’s work is crucial for achieving the goal that we share with the Palestinian Authority and the international community of establishing a Palestinian State that lives side-by-side with Israel. Through the provision of quality education and health to Palestine refugees, we help to ensure that they can contribute toward building the institutions of a future Palestinian State.”

Background information

The European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. Over the period 2000 to 2009, the EU, excluding EU member states, alone has provided more than €1 billion of support to the Agency. The EU and its Member States provided 62 per cent of support to the General Fund in 2009. This funding has enabled human development for the most vulnerable Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

For more information on the EU‘s assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory:
Shadi Othman, +972 (0)2 541 5888 ext 867
[email protected]

For more information on UNRWA:
Chris Gunness, +97 2(0)54 240 2659
[email protected]