The Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, will take a virtual cooperation trip to Palestine from June 22 to 26.
As part of this visit, the Foreign Ministers of Spain, Arancha González Laya, and Palestine, Riad Al Maliki, will sign the VII Mixed Commission and a new Association Framework (MAP in Spanish) electronically, valid until 2024.
The Secretary of State will participate in the Donors Conference of UNRWA, an organization with which Spain has collaborated since 1958.
UNRWA offers basic services – including health and education to more than 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, thanks to financial support from the International Community and Spain as an important partner and donor.
73% of the Gaza population and 29% of the West Bank population have refugee status. Moreno Bau will take the opportunity to meet UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, and take a virtual tour of the Aida refugee camp (Bethlehem), one of the 58 camps managed by UNRWA which is turning 70 years.
The Secretary of State also foresees meetings with the group of cooperation actors: the 15 Spanish NGOs, OCHA, representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), local partners, the delegation of the European Union, the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Palestinian Minister of the Water Authority.
The trip will end with a cultural art day in Gaza and a virtual visit to the Palestinian Museum.
Spain was the first member state of the EU to set cooperation relations through the signing in 1993 of the First Mixed Hispano-Palestinian Commission for Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
At this moment, 34 projects funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development & Cooperation (AECID in Spanish), worth 18.4 million euros, are being implemented in Palestine.
The new MAP, which replaces that of 2015, identifies gender equality, economic development, and job creation as priority sectors for action, advocating for the strengthening of public institutions and the defense of human rights in the geographical areas of Gaza, Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Spanish Cooperation is currently a leading donor in agriculture. This leadership has led to the signing of an upcoming delegated cooperation agreement with the EU in Gaza, whose goal is to create jobs and modernize small and medium-sized companies linked to the agricultural sector. Spain will also contribute to a desalination plant project in Gaza.