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Belgium reaffirms support for Palestinian refugees with multi-year contribution

By : News Editor

Jordan Daily – Belgium has pledged a multi-year humanitarian contribution of €27.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), reaffirming its commitment to the agency’s mandate.

According to a statement seen by Jordan Daily , the contribution, which will be disbursed over three years (2024-2026), will go towards UNRWA’s core funding with the entire contribution for 2024, of which €13.5 million has already been paid to provide the agency with the flexibility to respond to the volatile situation currently unfolding in the region.

Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation highlighted the severity of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, describing it as one of the worst in the past 25 years. “34,000 people are dead, an overwhelming majority of them women and children, 76,000 injured, and more than 1.5 million people displaced,” the Minister said. “A major famine is looming, especially in the north. There is hardly any medical aid left. This goes against every principle of international and humanitarian law. Not to mention human decency.”

Belgium’s decision to provide core funding to UNRWA aligns with its policy of providing as many unallocated resources as possible to partner organisations. This approach maximises predictable and available funding, offering flexibility to alleviate humanitarian needs on the ground, the statement added.

The financing policy is also in line with the principles of “Good Humanitarian Donorship” and the commitments within the framework of the “Grand Bargain”, to which Belgium subscribed in 2003 and 2016, respectively.

Belgium supports UNRWA’s mandate to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). This includes the provision of essential services such as primary education, primary health care, mental health care, emergency aid, social services, microcredits, and emergency aid, even in situations of armed conflict.

“UNRWA is currently the only aid agency in Gaza that has enough staff and infrastructure on the ground to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. If the agency runs out of funds, the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people will be at stake​,” the Minister concluded.

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