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Today the European Union has made available €82 million for the 2018 operating budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
On 20 March, the European Commission and the Government of Palestine will host an international Pledging Conference to harness broad international support for the construction of a large-scale water desalination plant and its associated infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
new programme worth €50 million, to improve the living conditions and resilience of vulnerable populations in key Libyan municipalities has been adopted under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (North of Africa window). The new actions will benefit migrants, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, returnees and host communities alike. Formulated jointly by the European Commission and Italy, the new programme will enhance access to basic and social services for vulnerable people and support local governance, in particular in the Libyan municipalities most affected by migratory flows.
Representatives from EU Member States and the six Partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine met today in Brussels and agreed on the key priorities for 2018 to deliver on the commitments taken at the Eastern Partnership Summit of 24 November 2017. Opening the event, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations stated: "I welcome the strong commitment by all partners to deliver on the issues that have a meaningful impact on lives of citizens across the Eastern Partnership. Today's meeting, provided us with the opportunity to agree on what we can achieve together throughout 2018, on the basis of the "20 Deliverables for 2020" commitment".
The ninth Steering Committee meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey took place in Brussels today, chaired by the European Commission. The meeting brought together representatives of EU Member States and Turkey. Members of the European Parliament also participated as observers. The Commission confirmed the quick and efficient delivery of the EU's commitment to assist Syrian refugees and their host communities in Turkey. The operational funds of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey have been fully committed and contracted, with 72 projects rolled out. More than EUR 1.85 billion was already disbursed at the end of 2017 with the remainder to be disbursed in the course of implementation of projects until mid-2021.
The European Union and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) are holding a Strategic Dialogue on the way forward for their partnership.
The European Union is adopting today three new programmes worth over €150 million under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, directly following up on the commitments made by the Joint African Union – European Union – United Nations Task Force to address the migrant situation in Libya.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the European Commission's Twinning instrument, one of the most successful and most used tools for supporting the European Union's neighbouring countries and regions.With the recent launch of the newest Twinning project in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the total number of Twinning projects implemented in the past 20 years surpasses 2700 in this anniversary year. The new project aims to establish peer-to-peer, on the ground cooperation with the partner country's Customs Administration in Skopje in order to simplify customs procedures and to create a business-friendly environment.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, will be in Serbia from 7 to 8 February and Montenegro on Friday 9 February. These are the first visits immediately following yesterday's Commission's adoption of the Strategy 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'. Meeting with key countries' representatives – political authorities including opposition groups as well as representatives of the civil society organisations, Commissioner Hahn will discuss the Strategy and its implications for the two countries and the whole region.