Palestinian gov't thanks China for 2.35 mln USD grant for UNRWA

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/8/15 8:49:25

The Palestinian government on Tuesday expressed thanks to China for providing 2.35 million US dollars for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

In a statement, the government stressed the need for the international community and donor countries to provide financial support to UNRWA's budget to ensure its continued service to Palestinian refugees, especially before the opening of the new school year.

Last Tuesday, China signed an agreement with UNRWA to provide 2.35 million dollars support to the Gaza food program for 2018.

The agreement was signed by Guo Wei, director of the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine, and Pierre Krahenbuhl, the UNRWA commissioner general.

The UNRWA called the agreement a generous support from the Chinese government amid the agency's funding shortfall after the United States cut its aid by over a half.

Guo, meanwhile, reiterated the China's unwavering position in supporting Palestinians through various channels.

The US aid cut came after it threatened to reduce financial support to the Palestinians unless they agree to return to the negotiation table with Israel, which has been stalled for four years.

Palestinian officials said the US move comes in line with President Donald Trump's attempt to ignore the final issues of the Palestinian-Israel peace process, removing the issues of Jerusalem and the refugees "off the table," which he also wrote on his Twitter account after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.

The UNRWA said recently it has succeeded in reducing deficit from 446 million dollars to 217 million dollars, but warned that it would have to cut its services because of the deficit.

The UN agency runs over 700 schools serving almost 525,000 children and offers healthcare for some 3.5 million refugees through a network of 150 clinics.

In addition, UNRWA's food and cash assistance program offers some 1.7 million dollars to extremely vulnerable refugees.

Throughout the region, the agency serves 5.3 million Palestinian refugees.

China has formerly urged the international community to help the UNRWA overcome its financial crisis in order to uphold its obligations towards millions of refugees who rely on the UNRWA services, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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