Brussels, MINA – The European Parliament expressed Thursday its concern at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) funding crisis and urged all donors to honour their promises to the Agency, KUNA reported.
In a resolution adopted by show of hands today, the EP expressed its firm commitment to supporting UNRWA in its provision of vital services for the wellbeing, protection and human development of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
It applauded UNRWA for its extraordinary efforts, including in protecting and supporting more than 400,000 Palestine refugees, and many others, in war-torn Syria.
The resolution warned that any unexpected reductions or delays in predicted donor disbursements to UNRWA can have damaging impacts on access to emergency food assistance for 1.7 million Palestine refugees and primary healthcare for 3 million, on access to education for more than 500,000 Palestinian children in 702 UNRWA schools, including almost 50,000 children in Syria, and on stability in the region.
It urged the United States to reconsider its decision to drastically cuts its funding to UNRWA and called on Washington to honour the payment of its entire scheduled contribution to the Agency.
It welcomed the decisions made by the EU and several of its Member States to fast-track funding to UNRWA and urged other donors to follow this example.
The EP welcomed the contributions of member states of the Arab League to UNRWA, but called on them to increase their commitment in order to close the funding gap.
The resolution underlined that the EU’s main objective is to achieve the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
Meanwhile, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini speaking during a debate on UNRWA in the EP last Tuesday warned that “reducing the activities of UNWRA would cause instability and even security threats all around the region. This is true for the West Bank and Gaza, but this is also true for Lebanon and Jordan.”
“Together with our Member States, we are doing all we can to avoid repercussions from the US decision to ensure that UNWRA can continue to operate,” she stated. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)