April 21st, 2007 06:13 EST
European Union increases contribution for Palestinian Refugees
The United Nations agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees and the European Union signed an agreement today paving the way for the EU to contribute €66 million to help pay salaries for teachers, doctors, social workers and others as part of the relief effort.
The agreement means essential services to Palestinians can be maintained, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a press release from Jerusalem.
Today’s signing, at Qalandia camp in the West Bank, is the first instalment of a four-year deal in which the EU has promised to give UNRWA €264 million by 2010. This year’s amount represents an increase of more than €1.5 million over 2006.
Filippo Grandi, Deputy Commissioner of UNRWA, thanked the EU for its contribution and for its ongoing support of the agency.
“The past year has been a period of great need throughout the Palestine refugee community, and the support you have shown today is a symbol of your interest and concern,” Mr. Grandi said.
Created in 1949, UNRWA provides education, health care, social services and emergency aid to an estimated 4.4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.