On 6 March, UNRWA and the EU held their 7th Strategic Dialogue in Brussels to jointly assess and review their cooperation, in line with the Joint Declaration signed for the period 2021-2024. Participants discussed the challenging political and financial environment in which UNRWA operates, and agreed on the importance of ensuring adequate, predictable and sustainable funding for the Agency to continue delivering on its mandate and contributing to regional stability.
“As UNRWA approaches its 75th anniversary, it is reflecting on how to remain efficient, impactful and relevant to the wellbeing and human development of Palestine refugees and, consequently to their feeling safe and secure,” said UNRWA Deputy Commission-General Ms. Leni Stenseth. “The Agency is rolling out ambitious modernization plans, including on digitalization, to ensure that its services, namely education, health and social protection are effective and high quality. This dialogue is an opportunity for UNRWA and the EU, one of our strongest partners, to reflect on our common commitment to the rights of Palestine refugees and find ways to help fulfil them despite the acute financial challenges that the Agency faces.”
On the margins of the Strategic Dialogue, the UNRWA delegation, headed by Ms. Stenseth, met with representatives of several European institutions, including the European Commission and members of the European Parliament, and civil society organizations. Discussions in all the meetings focused on the irreplaceable role that UNRWA plays in a highly volatile region, and the stability that its services help bring to the lives of the refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
During this visit Ms. Stenseth was accompanied by the Director of UNRWA Affairs in the West Bank, Mr. Adam Bouloukos, the Acting Director of UNRWA’s Education Department, Ms. Marta Lorenzo, and the Director of Planning, Mr. Sam Rose.
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