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EU contributes 12.6m euros to support Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan 

By JT - Sep 24,2020 - Last updated at Sep 24,2020

AMMAN — The European Union (EU) on Wednesday renewed its commitment to supporting the work carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), with a 12.6-million-euro contribution targeting Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan.

It comes as part of a larger 43.2-million-euro contribution to the agency’s emergency operations aimed at “Strengthening the Resilience of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon”, from 2020 through 2021, and tailored also to support Palestinian refugees coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an EU statement.

The EU increased the initial allocation for 2020-21 with an additional 7.2 million euros in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

This new funding, from the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (the EU MADAD Fund), will enable UNRWA Jordan field emergency operations to provide continued services to some 17,500 Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan. 

It includes regular unconditional cash assistance for families to cover their essential food and non-food item needs, as well as conditional emergency cash support to Palestinian refugees from Syria for unforeseen emergencies, enabling them to safely cope with their difficult economic situation, the statement said. 

With the new funding, the EU continues to be “a strategic and predictable partner to UNRWA”, recognising the vital work carried out by the agency in meeting the basic needs of Palestinian refugees in the region.  

“This additional assistance from the EU Trust Fund comes at the right time to support the efforts of UNWRA in addressing emergency operations for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular through support to livelihood and protection services,” said EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou in the statement. 

“This assistance underlines, once more, that the European Union and its member states are the largest contributors and most reliable supporters of UNWRA, an essential provider of vital services to millions of Palestine refugees in the region,” she added.

Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Mohammed Adar expressed his appreciation to the EU for its continuous support to UNRWA saying: “On behalf of the agency, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the longstanding partnership with the European Union. This generous contribution will help UNRWA to ensure that Palestine refugees from Syria are able to meet their basic needs and mitigate further deterioration in their humanitarian conditions.” 

“It is more important than ever, under this uncertain environment due to the COVID-19 crisis, that we must work hand-in-hand to help the vulnerable Palestine refugees overcome major livelihood and economic challenges that they face every day,” he added. 

The EU and UNRWA will provide additional cash assistance to all Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan, impacted by the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said. 

In addition to cash assistance, Palestinian refugees from Syria will benefit from increased protection standards and activities sustained under this EU contribution; these services will particularly address legal documentation issues, gender-based violence and child-specific vulnerabilities, among others.  

The provision of this comprehensive emergency assistance will be complemented by the strengthening of the agency’s operational capacity and management support. 

It will also bolster and sustain the work carried out by frontline staff dedicated to supporting Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan, according to the statement.

Over the past five decades, the partnership between the European Union and UNRWA has evolved, with the EU and its member states becoming the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees, representing more than half of UNRWA’s overall budget since 2019, and a key strategic partner committed to supporting UNRWA in the absence of a just and durable solution to the plight of Palestine refugees, the statement said.

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