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UNRWA and Norwegian Refugee Council Sign MoU to Support Palestine Refugees in Jordan
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Jordan Field Office (UNRWA) and the Norwegian Refugee Council Jordan Country Office (NRC JCO) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) strengthening collaboration between the two agencies focused on improving rights and protections for Palestine refugees. The MoU was signed by the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Ms. Marta Lorenzo, on behalf of UNRWA, and Ms. Muriel Tschopp, Country Director of NRC Jordan at the UNRWA Jordan Field Office in Amman.
Under the MOU, UNRWA and NRC JCO will collaborate on a vulnerability assessment of Palestine refugees in Jordan to better understand key vulnerabilities these communities face. The MoU also facilitates access to NRC JCO legal aid services, including the development and implementation of an effective and responsive protection referral and feedback mechanism between NRC JCO and UNRWA for protection cases in Jordan.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms. Marta Lorenzo said: “Access to legal services, such as legal representation, legal counselling and assistance to obtain civil documents, will help vulnerable Palestine refugees address some of the challenges they are facing.”
UNRWA and NRC JCO will also cooperate on protection advocacy initiatives for those most at risk.
Ms. Muriel Tschopp, Country Director of NRC Jordan said: “NRC welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with UNRWA to extend its services to vulnerable Palestine Refugees. Our collaboration with UNRWA extends the support we currently provide to refugees and vulnerable Jordanians and strengthens our commitment to Jordan as a refugee hosting country.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is an independent humanitarian organisation helping people who have been displaced and who need humanitarian support. NRC operates in more than 30 countries, helping save lives and rebuilding futures.
NRC first provided emergency assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan in 2012. Our services have since expanded to cover five of NRC’s global core competencies: Shelter/Energy, Education, Livelihoods, and Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA). NRC is one of the largest non-governmental aid providers in Jordan, providing support to over 200,000 people each year.
Our programmes in Jordan provide essential services and support improved self-reliance for both refugees and vulnerable Jordanians, including Syrian refugees living in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps. We work closely with the Government of Jordan and relevant line Ministries to ensure our programmes are aligned with national priorities and support implementation of the Jordan Response Plan.
On the ground, NRC also partners with national organisations and local Community Based Organisations (CBO), enabling to reach the most vulnerable and strengthening the long-term sustainability of our interventions.
The NRC is also a strong advocate for those the organisation works with and supports. We promote and defend the rights and protections that refugees are entitled to, improving their resilience and self-reliance and helping empower them to achieve their durable solution of choice. We are also active in established coordination platforms, including hosting the Jordan INGO Forum (JIF), as well as co-chairing the Livelihoods Working Group and the Education Sector Working Group.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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