UN concerned about possible US aid cut to Palestinian refugee agency

Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee

United Nations, Jan 16: The UN on Monday expressed concern over press reports that the US government may significantly cut financial aid to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

It is important to understand that the UN agency for Palestinian refugees was mandated by the UN General Assembly to support humanitarian and human development work for Palestinian refugees, and that it serves some of the most marginalised population in the Middle East, UN chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, Xinhua reported.

“Its presence through its activities and through health, education and humanitarian (work) is a force for stabilization in a very volatile area.”

The US has been a major funder of the agency, whose official name is United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

UNRWA’s work is critical. If any donor significantly cuts its contributions, the United Nations will have to find alternative sources of funding, said Dujarric.

It is reported that US President Donald Trump is planning to withhold tens of millions of US dollars for UNRWA, which was created in 1949 as a relief and human development agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. It currently helps about five million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

IANS

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