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Spain pledges UNRWA provisions, to take part in donors conference

By JT - Sep 05,2018 - Last updated at Sep 05,2018

Palestinian protesters wave their national flags at sunset during a demonstration near the Erez crossing with Israel on Tuesday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Spain pledged to make an extraordinary provision to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), according to an official statement by the Spanish embassy in Amman on Sunday.

The Spanish government also promised to actively participate in the UN General Assembly’s Donors Conference organised by Jordan in September.

 “Spain is firmly committed to the efforts being carried out by the main European donors and on international levels,” the statement said, denouncing the US defunding decision and warning of the humanitarian crisis it may cause.

Through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, the government will in the next weeks set additional allocations for UNRWA, adjusted to the available budget.

In addition to the damage this will cause more than 3 million Palestinian refugees, in terms of basic services, defunding UNRWA may further destabilise the region, the statement underlines, “especially in the besieged Gaza Strip“.

Notably, the US had already reduced its annual UNRWA allocations down to $60 million earlier this year.

Efforts to enable UNRWA to continue its services for Palestinian refugees, Spain  aims at establishing sustainable solutions for the agency’s funding requirements.

Spain also rejects the accusations that the UNRWA is a corrupt, inefficient organisation and called for additional efforts to offset the consequences of the US decision.

For the almost 70 years it has been operating, under extremely difficult conditions, UNRWA has faithfully met its duty to provide with emergency support and social assistance to the refugee Palestinian population, Spain reaffirmed. 

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