Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Qatar donates $50mn to UN Palestine refugee agency

Qatar donates $50mn to UN Palestine refugee agency Qatar donates $50mn to UN Palestine refugee agency
Melinda Barton | 15 March, 2018, 23:39

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees is looking to fill a almost $500 million funding gap at an global conference in Rome Thursday after the United States withdrew hundreds of millions in funding earlier this year.

This comes after the U.S. Trump administration in January cut tens of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees. Stepping up were Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France, U.N. officials said.

The Rome conference kicked off on Thursday at the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome at the initiative of Jordan and with cooperation from Egypt and Sweden and in the presence of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in addition to ministers and representatives from 90 countries.

The aim of the event was to stimulate a response by the global community "to ensure UNRWA's unprecedented funding crisis of 446 million USA dollars is urgently solved".

"Financing #UNRWA to enable it to follow through with its mandate is an worldwide political, legal, moral and humanitarian responsibility", Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi wrote on Twitter.

"We recognize the important contributions of the United States in the past and look forward that it continues to play its fundamental role in support of UNRWA and in also support of the peace process to enable the establishment of the Palestinian state", he said.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, calling on the global community to support UNRWA and denouncing Washington and Israel.

"The message to the Palestinian refugees has to be that they are not forgotten", he said.

"The economy can not survive without being connected to the outside world", the World Bank said in a statement.