By Dilara Hamit
ANKARA (AA) - The European Commission will donate an additional €21 million ($23.8 million) to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), EU commissioner said on Wednesday.
Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood and enlargement policy, made the announcement at the UNRWA annual pledging conference which took place in New York.
Established in 1949, UNRWA delivers critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The latest donation will add to the €82 million ($93.1million) that has already been paid this year.
Hahn said that the UNRWA is an essential provider of vital services to millions of Palestine refugees in the region.
"The EU's additional contribution is to ensure that millions of Palestine refugees continue to benefit from health services and education across the region," Hahn said.
According to the EU, since 1971, the strategic partnership between the EU and UNRWA has been based on the shared objective of supporting the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and to promoting stability in the Middle East.
For the past three years, the total contribution of the EU and its Member States combined reached approximately €1.4 billion ($1.59 billion).
This year Turkey has donated $10 million to UNRWA to fund reconstruction projects in Palestine.