Rome summit to focus on UNRWA funding crisis

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Rome, March 10 (IANS/AKI) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will attend an upcoming summit in Rome on the severe funding crisis that could force the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA to halt its vital work, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Friday.

The aim of the conference taking place at FAO headquarters on Thursday is “to actively support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of Palestinian Refugees and ensure UNRWA’s unprecedented funding crisis of 446 million dollars is urgently resolved,” FAO said in a statement.

UNRWA, which helps over five million Palestine refugees, is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its 70 year history and as a consequence may be forced to suspend services, the statement said.

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The foreign ministers of Jordan, Sweden and Egypt will chair the conference aimed at rallying further international support for UNRWA , according to the statement.

Aside from its crucial humanitarian work to aid Palestinian refugees, UNRWA makes a key contribution to stability in the region.

It is the oldest and largest UN humanitarian and human development programme in the Middle East, said the statement.

–IANS

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