Gennez travels to Jordan and the West Bank with focus on humanitarian situation

Belgian minister of development cooperation Caroline Gennez (Vooruit) will travel to Jordan and the Palestinian territories on Wednesday for a diplomatic trip that focuses on the humanitarian crisis in the region and the reconstruction of Gaza.

During the weeklong trip, Gennez will visit Jabal El Hussein, a camp run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The camp was founded in 1952 to accommodate Palestinians who had been expelled from Palestine by the 1948 war. Today, it faces many challenges in terms of unemployment and health.

Gennez will also meet Jordanian Prince Rashi bin El Hassan in Amman, the chairman of the Hashemite Charitable Organization (JHCO), a national non-profit that provides emergency aid to Gaza.

"Disastrous impact on the little help that has already come in"

In the West Bank, Gennez will address relief efforts regarding Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories with several heads of UN agencies and humanitarian organisations, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Development Agency (UNDP), the World Bank and the UN Humanitarian Coordination Body (OCHA). Additionally, Gennez will hold talks with Sigrid Kaag, the UN emergency aid coordinator for Gaza, and Muhannad Hadi, the deputy chief of humanitarian aid for the Middle East Peace Process.

"The situation has deteriorated significantly in recent days," said Gennez. "Aid convoys and aid workers are being attacked, planned missions are being cancelled or blocked by Israeli authorities, and following the large-scale attack in Rafah, major border crossings, including those with Egypt, have been closed. That has a disastrous impact on the little help that has already come in."

Meetings between Gennez, members of the new Palestinian government and representatives of civil society organisations in the Palestinian territories will discuss the ongoing cooperation programme and how they see the future of Gaza and Palestine.

Finally, in East Jerusalem, visits are planned to a UNRWA medical centre and a youth project of Enabel, the Belgian development agency.

“Palestine is a partner country of Belgian development cooperation. We will have signed a new cooperation program in 2022. Our projects focus on youth, green energy and democratisation – in the West Bank and Gaza. But large parts of the Gaza Strip are now in ruins. It seems unthinkable at the moment, but there must be a political solution where both Israelis and Palestinians can live together in complete safety and peace. And that means that Gaza will have to be rebuilt," the Gennez stated.

Minister for Development Cooperation and Metropolitan Policy Caroline Gennez ​

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