The European Union agreed to transfer €55.4 million ($70.9 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) on Wednesday. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signed the agreement while on a visit in the Gaza Strip.
According to a statement published on the UNRWA website, the money will finance the agency's General Fund, which supports education, health and social services, and will be invested in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The latest EU contribution is the "largest single donation to UNRWA's core budget," according to the agency statement.
Ashton said that the EU's "continued support to UNRWA is an essential element of the EU strategy to bring peace and stability ot the region." The UNRWA website also quoted her as saying that "the €55.4 million contribution we are signing today represents our ongoing commitment to the Palestine refugees."