UNRWA-EU Partnership at Yalla Palestina Event

30 May 2014
UNRWA-EU Partnership at Yalla Palestina Event

Brussels, Cinquantenaire Park

On 24 May 2014 thousands gathered in a festive, peaceful and sunny celebration of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. The event, organised by Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP) gathered 25 Belgian civil society organisations as well as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

UNRWA’s Representative Office to the EU in Brussels provided information on the EU-UNRWA partnership now lasting for 45 years. At the UNRWA  Info-tent, visitors learned about UNRWA’s human development, humanitarian and protection activities for over 5 million registered Palestine refugees living in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The information provided and the games organized highlighted the important contributions of the EU to Palestine refugees. More than 120 children made and flew their own kites - like the children in Gaza who broke the Guinness World Record  in 2011 for flying the most kites at the same time.

Since 1971, the European Union has entered into a strategic partnership with UNRWA that is governed by the mutual objective to promote stability in the Near East, facilitate the quest for peace, and to advocate for the support of the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees. The EU is currently the largest multilateral UNRWA donor and has regularly supported UNRWA, contributing over EUR 949 million from 2007 to 2013 alone. This financial support, when combined with contributions from EU member states, represents 57 per cent of UNRWA’s operational budget.

Background Information

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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