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Spanish ambassador visits Baqaa camp in support of Palestine refugees

By JT - Feb 23,2022 - Last updated at Feb 23,2022

AMMAN — Spanish Ambassador to Jordan Aránzazu Bañón Dávalos on Wednesday visited Baqaa camp for Palestine refugees in Jordan and witnessed the vital services the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides. 

The ambassador was accompanied by the acting director of UNRWA and International Organisations Directorate of the Department of Palestinian Affairs Heba Al Manni, the director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Marta Lorenzo and other UNRWA staff.

The visit follows the launch of the project, titled “Environmental Improvement in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan”, which is a multidimensional project aimed to improve the living conditions in Palestine refugee camps in Jordan. 

The project, funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) with an initial allocation of 500,000 euros in 2021, to be increased in the coming years. It adopts a strategic approach that focuses on community participation and empowerment through the raising of awareness about climate change and environmental sustainability. 

This initiative, which sets the basis for the improvement of the environmental health and living conditions of more than 400,000 Palestine refugees in Jordan, is of “vital importance to support the agency’s modernisation efforts in line with global commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, the statement read. 

The ambassador was briefed on the agency’s adaptation to the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring the continuation of service provision to Palestine refugees in the health, education and environmental sectors.

“Spain remains fully committed to the Palestinian cause and is firmly convinced that only the two-state solution can fulfill the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and create conditions for Israel and Palestine to live together in peace and stability,” Dávalos said. 

 “In the meantime, protection of Palestine refugees and their rights remains of the utmost importance. The mandate of UNRWA and its work are crucial to provision of basic services to refugees,” the ambassador said.

“Today, by visiting Baqaa I see again firsthand the outstanding job the agency is doing in the fields of education and health, providing hope and opportunities to the younger generation. I also praise the progress being made in achieving a more sustainable management of water and energy resources. We are proud to contribute to this effort through the project we are launching in the field of environmental health with the aim of improving the living conditions of the Palestine refugees of the camps,” she noted 

“On behalf of the agency, we highly appreciate the timely contribution received by the Spanish Government. With this contribution, Spain is helping us make a real change in the lives of Palestine refugees by investing in the greening, quality water and infrastructure in Palestine refugee camps in Jordan,” said Lorenzo.

Spain started contributing to UNRWA in 1958 and has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 2005. 

Spain is a strategic partner whose strong political support to the agency has been consistent over the years. In 2021, the country’s contribution totalled over 17 million euros, including a contribution of 3 million euros to the UNRWA Programme Budget in response to agency’s financial shortfall in 2021.

 

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