EU contributes $33 million to UN refugee agency for Palestinians
The financial package was announced Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. (AFP/File)
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The European Union announced Wednesday that it will provide $33 million in funding for the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees, a statement said.
The assistance package was announced during a sideline event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and brings total EU donations to UNRWA in 2015 to $139 million.
The money will go towards supporting core programs such as education and health and will also cover a deficit in the organization which had threatened to disrupt the beginning of the school year.
The EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, also signed an $11 million agreement with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl to improve education, health, and livelihood services to Palestinian refugees in Syria.
“This important and generous contribution from the EU means that we will be able to overcome our funding shortfall for the year, allowing us to concentrate our efforts on ensuring the long-term financial stability of UNRWA so that our core programmes are never again put at risk," Krahenbuhl said.
"This support is crucial in ensuring that Palestine refugees will continue to have access to quality education, health care and life-saving services until a just solution for their plight is achieved.”
UNRWA began operations in 1950 following the mass displacement of Palestinians during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, referred to as Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe.
The UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate in the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most recently extending it to 2017.
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