Luxembourg commits €15 million to UNRWA over four years
On February 8th, 2012, Luxembourg announced a multi-year financial commitment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), increasing its annual contribution to the Agency’s core work through the General Fund to € 3.75 million until 2015, which represents an annual progression of some 36 per cent.
The multi-year agreement was signed during a ceremony at the Kalandia Training Centre by Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs Marie-Josée Jacobs and UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi. The total four-year contribution of € 15 million will help the Agency sustain its human development programmes for nearly five million Palestine refugees, including education for 500,000 children and primary health service to refugees in 138 health facilities throughout the Middle East.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Jacobs said: “UNRWA, which continues its remarkable and still indispensable service to five million Palestinian refugees, is Luxembourg’s main partner when it comes to assisting the Palestinian people. In order to strengthen our longstanding and trusted partnership even further, Luxembourg has decided to sign a multi-year agreement with UNRWA, thus providing the Agency with even more predictable and flexible funding both to UNRWA’s general budget and to its priority programmes in the field, including health services and microfinance projects”.
Welcoming the contribution, Commissioner-General Grandi said: “At a time of increasing political and economic uncertainty – in the region and globally – Luxembourg’s increasing commitment to our work is welcome reassurance. This four-year agreement will allow us to plan our programmes in the medium term and sends a valuable signal to other donors that we need multi-year commitments to help ensure greater coherence for our programmes in the long term”.
The signing ceremony took place during a visit by Luxembourg delegates to UNRWA facilities in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as a Bedouin community in Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank.
As one of the Agency’s most consistent donors, Luxembourg supports UNRWA’s core human development activities, especially in the field of health. Over the period 2007-2011, Luxembourg thus contributed € 13 million to UNRWA’s General Fund.
In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly invited Luxembourg to become a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission.