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United Nations gets $100M in new funds for Palestinian aid after U.S. cuts

United Nations gets $100M in new funds for Palestinian aid after U.S. cuts

The conference was held at the initiative of Jordan, along with Egypt and Sweden, and with the attendance of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Union chief Federica Mogherini, and foreign ministers and representatives from 90 countries and organizations.

The conference, co-hosted by Jordan, Egypt and Sweden, aims to boost support to the United Nations agency in facing the financial deficit that is estimated to be $446 million, which affects the agency's provision of basic services to 5.3 million Palestinian refugees at its operation zones, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

The almost 100-million-dollar total comes from 11 countries: Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France.

"Attempts to undermine the refugees issue are being done by trying to end the work of the UNRWA through reducing financial support", he told Xinhua at the demonstration.

Global powers will gather in Rome on Thursday to discuss the future of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, which faces an unprecedented crisis after the U.S. froze tens of millions of dollars in funding. "According to UNRWA, [in contrast to refugees worldwide who are not Palestinian Arabs] refugee status is passed from generation to generation, so that even fifth-generation descendants are considered refugees from Israel".

Cutting sanitation, health care and medical services in already poverty-wracked and conflict-ridden areas "would have severe impacts - a cascade of problems that could push the suffering in disastrous and unpredictable directions", he warned.

Fear is rife about the future of the organisation, which employs more than 20,000 mainly Palestinian staff and relies on the United States for almost 30 percent of its funding.

We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. In announcing the cuts in January, the US State Department said it wanted reforms at the agency, which Israel has strongly criticized. But he said "there is a limit to its ability to do so" given the enormous sustained needs faced by 5 million people.

"It is vital and it is necessary to address these very basic services, but also to provide dignity for multitudes of Palestinians and to (protect) many of them from the potential threats of radicalization and terrorism", he told reporters.

Among the services likely to be affected are around 700 schools in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the region that provide education to over 500,000 students, Guterres said.

Turkey has always been a major provider of funds to Palestine, contributing about $324 million in aid through public institutions and charities between 2013 and 2017.

The move came after US President Donald Trump threatened on January 3 to cut aid to the agency, which serves more than five million people. Turkey ranks first if one takes into account national incomes.


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