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High Representative Federica Mogherini met with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl and reaffirmed the European Union's longstanding commitment to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
“Supporting the agency means supporting peace and security in the Middle East. And this is in our strategic interest. UNRWA is essential for the very perspective of a two-state solution,” Mogherini said in September at the UN General Assembly.
The European Union and its Member States are providing half of the budget for the UN Agency's work with the overall contribution reaching approximately €1.2 billion in the past three years.
"Thanks to these funds, every day 500,000 children go to school, millions of patients receive healthcare and thousands of people have access to jobs,” Mogherini said.
Last autumn Federica Mogherini announced an additional €40 million in new funding after a meeting with Jordan, Turkey, Germany and Sweden. This followed the UN Agency's warning that it might not have enough funds to operate schools for children across Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
"This is crucial especially for schools and hospitals in Gaza, but also in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Syria, to avoid adding problems to those already existing, the High Representative said.
EU support to UNRWA activities has a crucial impact on the people: it provides access to primary healthcare for more than 3.5 million patients, assistance to over 250,000 vulnerable refugees, access to school for half a million children.