On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) saw for herself how Norwegian money is contributing to education and health care for Palestinian refugees in Jordan.
– We don’t want to be a burden to the UN. We don’t want to be a burden to any country. We want take responsibility for our own . Therefore, I would ask you to also urge others to give money. In the end, education is not just about a piece of paper and a pencil, but the environment around it, says one of the students at a girls’ school in Jordan for Palestinian refugees to Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H).
On Tuesday, Eriksen Søreide made a tour of the refugee camp in Amman, and she saw among other things, how Norwegian money contributes to teaching little girls English and Science at the UN-run school. Also how the patients flock to the health center run by the UN Palestinian Refugee Organization (UNRWA).
UNRWA is short of money after US President Donald Trump cut their support in 2018. Since then, the United States has worked to shut down the organisation, but Norway still provides millions of dollars annually.
During the visit to the refugee camp in Amman, the Foreign Minister released the news that the Government will transfer all its annual funding to UNRWA , NOK 125 million for 2020 , in one tranche.
More money may come later for individual projects .
– We are now handing over our basic support money for 2020. We are doing this so that you and other students who are here and in the Gaza Strip, or in Lebanon, can have school books and medical supplies. We do it because we know that the work the teachers and doctors are doing, and the work you are doing, is your future. That is why we contribute with money, but also with political efforts to find political solutions, Eriksen Søreide told the students.
Thank you Norway
Several of the students at the school thanked Norway for the money. Acting leader Christian Saunders at UNRWA was also grateful.
– It’s incredibly important. When the US cut support in 2018, we lost a third of the budget. There is a huge deficit that we must cover, and the result is that the Palestinian refugees are suffering, Saunders told NTB.
The United States has been the largest contributor ever since the creation of UNRWA, but President Donald Trump cut all support in an effort to push the Palestinians to the negotiating table in 2018.
The rationale was that the United States bears a disproportionate share of the burden, and that UNRWA accepts too many people as refugees.
UNRWA assists 2.1 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, 1.3 million in the Gaza Strip, nearly 800,000 in the West Bank and 450,000 in Syria with education, health care, and other assistance.
Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide is in Jordan in connection with the Norwegian State visit.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today