11. EC CONTRIBUTION TO UNRWA'S BUDGET
FOR 2002 - 2005
Draft Council Decision on the conclusion of the Convention between the EC and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) concerning aid to refugees in the countries in the Near East for 20022005.
|Legal base:||Articles 181 and 300 EC; consultation; qualified majority voting
|Basis of consideration:||Minister's letter of 28 May 2002
|Previous Committee Report:||HC 152-xxviii (2001-02), paragraph 6 (8 May 2002)
|Discussed in Council:||No date set, but early adoption expected
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
|Committee's decision:||Cleared (decision reported on 8 May 2002)
11.1 The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is responsible for providing
basic health, education, and social services to 3.9 million Palestinian
refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
11.2 The purpose of this proposal is to authorise the
conclusion of a Convention between the EC and UNRWA to provide
core funding for the Agency's operations over the period 2002-2005.
11.3 The ability of UNRWA to provide its services is
entirely dependent on sufficient annual voluntary contributions.
The proposed Convention will help UNRWA to establish a firm financial
footing, and to operate on a sustainable and cost-effective basis.
11.4 We cleared the document when we considered it on
8 May, but asked the Minister whether the sums proposed were likely
to be amended when an assessment had been made of damage to health
and education facilities since it was proposed in February, and
whether such an assessment was already under way.
The Minister's letter
11.5 The Secretary of State for International Development
(Clare Short) replies:
"It is not likely that the sums proposed in the convention
will be amended unless there is a significant change in UNRWA's
regular budget needs. Additional requirements as a result of the
recent Israeli Defence Force attacks, which UNRWA is currently
reviewing, would be proposed through UNRWA's Emergency Appeals,
and would need to be addressed by separate funding mechanisms
outside the Convention."
11.6 We cleared the document on 8 May and now thank
the Minister for her reply to our additional questions.