Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain

05/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/15/2021 02:07

Minister González Laya underlines Spain’s commitment to humanitarian work carried out by UNRWA to Commissioner Lazzarini

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, held a meeting today with Phillipe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The visit by Phillipe Lazzarini to Spain takes place at a time when the agency is facing serious budgetary problems due to a reduction in donor contributions over recent years and the greater needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Lazzarini thanked the minister for Spain's special contribution made at the end of 2020 in response to the call made by the Commissioner to maintain the basic services functioning that provide support for the Palestine population in refugee camps.

Minister González Laya reiterated Spain's commitment to the humanitarian work being carried out by UNRWA to Commissioner Lazzarini, in providing basic services to Palestine refugees.

Arancha González Laya also gave a few words of recognition for the Spanish Committee of UNRWA - a global pioneer - which channels contributions from regional governments, local authorities and civil society, highly sensitised to the situation of refugees in general, and Palestine refugees in particular.

As regards the recent criticism of the functioning of the agency, Phillipe Lazzarini also had the chance to explain to the minister his efforts to reform the agency and enhance its efficiency and transparency, thereby achieving the support of donors who had distanced themselves over recent years.

The minister thanked Phillipe Lazzarini for his work to improve the agency and expressed her wish to see Spain continue to collaborate and strengthen new channels, such as the deployment of leading Spanish experts and volunteers within the agency.