UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini meets with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt in Oslo. (UNRWA Photo)
Between 26 and 27 January, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, visited Oslo to hold meetings with key Norwegian interlocutors with a view to further deepen the strategic partnership with Norway and support of Palestine refugees.
Lazzarini thanked the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, for setting an excellent example of good donorship: “Norway should serve as an inspiration for other donors. The multiyear agreement signed in 2022 provides increased, predictable and flexible funding allowing the Agency to continue delivering basic services. I look forward to further deepening our strong partnership.”
Minister Huitfeldt said: “Norway remains strongly committed in our support to UNRWA. UNRWA’s ability to provide services is essential for stability in the Middle East. UNRWA plays a key role to ensure that the rights and essential needs of the Palestine refugees are met.”
“We will continue to support UNRWA in a difficult period for the Agency, and will therefore shortly transfer this year’s contribution to UNRWA. This will secure humanitarian aid, schools and health services for Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan”, added the minister.
During his visit to Oslo, the Commissioner-General met with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and members of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs. Throughout all his discussions, Lazzarini stressed the growing humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees and the existential challenges facing UNRWA, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This trip followed the Agency’s presentation of its 2023 annual appeal for funding in Geneva on 24 January. UNRWA appealed for US$ 1.6 billion for its programmes and operations across the region for 2023.