Canada promises millions for Palestinian relief

Egypt: Shoukry Heads for Rome to Co-Chair Unrwa Conf.

Qatari representatives made the announcement at a Thursday meeting of UNRWA officials in Rome, according to the Qatar News Agency.

The conference saw additional pledges to UNRWA of approximately US$ 100 million by numerous donors as part of an worldwide effort to address the Agency's funding shortfall, and to sustain its "vital" services in an unstable region.

More than 90 countries were invited to participate in the Rome conference, which was attended by Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, and Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief.

Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, told delegates that UNRWA's emergency and human development services were vital to the dignity of over five million people.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has so far committed only $60 million to the agency this year, down from $360 million in 2017.

Trump's posts came less than a month after his controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that prompted widespread worldwide condemnation and led Palestinian leaders to say that they would "no longer" accept any peace plan put forward by the US.

Egypt: Shoukry Heads for Rome to Co-Chair Unrwa Conf.

The U.S. had been UNWRA's largest donor, supplying almost 30 percent of its budget.

The meeting aimed to ensure the collective action of Member States providing sufficient, predictable and sustained funding to UNRWA, by generating a collective dynamic to build new funding alliances, reaffirm support for UNRWA's mandate and overcome the Agency's unprecedented shortfall of Dollars 446 million.

He pointed out continuing the support for UNRWA is a political message that the world still cares about suffering of the Palestinian refugees, in which 5th, next May marks seventy years of their suffering and injustice.

The meeting discussed the several-year long crisis of UNRWA, and ways to deal with this crisis for a better future for millions of Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories and asylum countries, especially Jordan and Lebanon.

It offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment. Jordan's foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, said the conference was "a very successful beginning" but that more fundraising was necessary.

The agency's commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbehl, said in a Twitter post "Palestine Refugees deserve recognition of their rights & stable delivery of UNRWA services".

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