High-Level Delegation Visits UNRWA Installations in Jordan, West Bank

High-Level Delegation Visits UNRWA Installations in Jordan, West Bank

A UNRWA workshop in Amman, Jordan. (File photo: UNRWA)

A high-level delegation from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) concluded on Saturday a two-day visit to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) installations in Aida refugee camp in the occupied West Bank and Baqa’a refugee camp in Jordan.

The delegation was headed by the AECID Director Antón Leis García, accompanied by members from the agency in Jordan and from the occupied Palestinian Territory.

In the West Bank, the delegation was welcomed by the Acting Director of UNRWA Affairs West Bank, Dorothee Klaus, who briefed them on the operational context, programmatic priorities, achievements and challenges faced by both UNRWA and Palestine refugee camp residents. The delegation was also briefed on protection-related challenges and risks across the occupied West Bank with major focus on Aida Camp.

In Jordan, the delegation, joined by Spanish Ambassador to Jordan, Miguel de Lucas, was received by the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Olaf Becker, and UNRWA Chief of Staff, Ben Majekodunmi, at the UNRWA Baqa’a Preparatory Girls’ School where they were briefed on the Agency’s programmes, in specific, issues relating to education, protection and environmental health, as well as the AECID-funded project in Baqa’a Camp. This was followed by an interactive dialogue with members from UNRWA Student Parliament and a visit to an UNRWA health centre.

Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs Olaf Becker said: “UNRWA is grateful for the Spanish Government and for the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation for their strong support to UNRWA and Palestine refugees in the region. Such support to the Agency’s programme budget and projects ensures the continued provision of quality services, modernization and contributes to stability in the region.”

AECID is currently funding a project piloted in Baqa’a camp and is to be rolled out in many other camps following the end of the pilot project. The project includes a study on feasibility of recycling opportunities, assessment of the camp’s water supply network, feasibility of water harvesting systems in UNRWA facilities, solid waste management and green spaces.

The project is expected to be rolled out in ten other camps with focus on environmental sustainability, solid waste management and improved accessibility in shelters for persons with disabilities.

AECID Director Antón Leis García said: “In a challenging regional and global context, our collaboration with UNRWA is as important as ever. As a new, innovative step in this partnership, UNRWA and AECID will work in Baqa’a to improve the daily lives of Palestine refugees by enhancing access to basic services and promoting a cleaner environment. We are confident that AECID´s involvement in this pilot phase will help scale up the project in the future with additional financial support from other partners.”

Spain’s contribution to UNRWA includes both Ministry of Foreign Affairs and AECID funds and decentralized contributions. In 2021, the country’s contribution totaled EUR 17.4 million including an extraordinary contribution of EUR 3 million to the programme budget in response to the International Conference in November 2021.

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