Jordan to host fundraiser for UNRWA

Jordan will host a fundraiser at the UN headquarters in New York to keep UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” afloat.

Ben Ariel,

UNRWA facilities i southern Gaza
UNRWA facilities i southern Gaza
Flash 90

Jordan will host a fundraiser at the United Nations headquarters in New York next month to keep UNRWA, the agency for “Palestinian refugees” afloat, the kingdom's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Thursday.

The meeting, set for September 27 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, "aims to provide financial and political support to UNRWA," said Safadi, who was quoted by AFP.

The United States announced in January it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

The organization has since received pledges of $100 million in additional funding from Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France as a means of making up for the aid that was cut by Washington.

UNRWA recently said it had managed to pay salaries and provide some services, but also said there was still a large budget deficit of $256 million.

Safadi said on Thursday the New York event aims to "close the gap and put in place a plan that will ensure UNRWA's continued, ongoing funding for the coming years."

It will also "reaffirm that UNRWA is an organization created by the UN General Assembly, with a clear and particular role, and this role must continue", he added.

Speaking alongside the Jordanian Foreign Minister, UNRWA director Pierre Krahenbuhl said the agency needs $200 million to continue its work until the end of this year.

"We're taking about human beings. We cannot wish 5.3 million Palestinian refugees away ... these are people who have rights and for many years now, for decades, have faced a plight and an injustice that is simply immense," said Krahenbuhl, according to AFP.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Tuesday urged Middle Eastern nations to increase aid to UNRWA and added that Washington would only resume its aid to the UN agency if it undergoes reforms.


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