Spanish Ambassador to Jordan visits Baqa’a camp to support Palestinian refugees and UNRWA – Jordan
Today, the Spanish Ambassador to Jordan, HE Mrs. Aránzazu Bañón Dávalos, visited the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqa’a in Jordan and witnessed the vital services provided by the Relief and Works Agency of United Nations for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Ms. Bañón was accompanied by the Acting Director of UNRWA and the Directorate of International Organizations of the Department of Palestinian Affairs, Ms. Heba Al Manni, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Ms. Marta Lorenzo and other UNRWA staff.
This visit follows the launch of the Project Improving the Environment in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan, a multidimensional project aimed at improving living conditions in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. The project, generously funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) with an initial allocation of 500,000 euros in 2021, which will be increased in the coming years, adopts a strategic approach focused on participation and community empowerment through raising awareness on climate change and environmental sustainability.
This initiative, which will lay the foundation for improving the environmental health and living conditions of more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Jordan, is vitally important to support the Agency’s modernization efforts in line with global commitments. sustainable development goals (SDGs). The project is also in line with the Agency’s commitment to the protection of Palestinian refugees with disabilities, as evidenced by its principles of inclusion of persons with disabilities – non-discrimination, awareness, participation and accessibility – and in accordance with the Convention of the United Nations on the rights of persons with disabilities. Disabilities. UNRWA is also proud of its partnership with the Department of Palestinian Affairs within the Jordanian government, which undertakes critical environmental activities.
The refugee camp tour began at the UNRWA Baqa’a Preparatory School for Girls No. 1 and 2, where Ms. Bañón was briefed on the living conditions of the Palestinian refugee population in Jordan and recent developments in UNRWA operations in the Middle East. including the Agency’s successful adaptation to the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring the continued delivery of services to Palestinian refugees in the health, education and environment sectors.
During the meeting, Ms. Al Manni briefed the visitors on the situation of Palestinian refugees in the camps in Jordan and the role the department is playing in coordination with the camp service committees and UNRWA to ensure a standard of cleanliness. durable and quality for health. and refugee security, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spain remains fully committed to the Palestinian cause and firmly believes that only the two-state solution can realize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and create the conditions for Israel and Palestine to live together in peace and stability. In the meantime, the protection of Palestinian refugees and their rights remains of the utmost importance. UNRWA’s mandate and its work are crucial to the provision of basic services to refugees. Today, visiting Baqa’a, I see again the remarkable work that the Agency is doing in the fields of education and health, offering hope and opportunities to the young generation. I also welcome the progress made in achieving 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 Palestinian refugees in the camps,” said Ms. Bañón.
“On behalf of the Agency, we highly appreciate the timely contribution received by the Spanish government. With this contribution, Spain is helping us bring real change to the lives of Palestinian refugees by investing in greening, quality water and infrastructure in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan,” said Marta Lorenzo.
Spain began 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 for the Agency has been consistent over the years . In 2021, the country’s contribution amounted to more than €17 million, including an extraordinary contribution of €3 million to the UNRWA program budget in response to the Agency’s financial shortfall in 2021.
UNRWA faces an increased demand for services resulting from an increase in the number of registered Palestinian refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their growing poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been exceeded by growing needs. As a result, UNRWA’s program budget, which supports the delivery of basic essential services, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to make every effort to fully fund the Agency’s program budget. UNRWA’s emergency programs and key projects, which also operate with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in its five areas of operation. Its mission is to help Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to realize their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their fate. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.