Sep 12, 2018 15:14 Asia/Tehran

UNRWA is seeking more funds from Persian Gulf states and from European countries , after U.S. president, Donald Trump decided to cut off all funding to the United Nations Agency.

Iran Press/Middle East:  A U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees will target additional funding from Persian Gulf states and European partners as it seeks to make up a $200 million shortfall caused by a U.S. aid cutoff, the agency’s head said on Monday.

According to Reuters,“We face an unprecedented financial crisis,” said Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Cairo to try to drum up support at an Arab League meeting on Tuesday.

“We have decided that it is essential for us to close the historic shortfall that we faced of $446 million, by reaching out to many other countries and among them member states of the League of Arab States.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have already announced $50 million each for UNRWA, said Krahenbuhl, adding that Japan, India and China had also provided new or increased support.

UNRWA provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza. Most are descendants of some 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel’s creation.

The growing refugee count was cited by Washington, in its decision late last month to withhold funding.

The U.S. decision threatened UNRWA’s provision of healthcare and emergency aid as well as education for 526,000 Palestinian refugee children — though schools did recently open for the new year.

The U.N. General Assembly had given UNRWA its mandate and approved the definition of Palestinian refugees, he noted.

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