US to Contribute $9m to Cash-Starved Refugee Agency
The United States government announced Wednesday plans to contribute another nine million dollars to the cash-strapped UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
This will bring to 89 million dollars the total US contribution to UNRWA for the year 2000, said an embassy statement issued during a meeting in Amman of donor countries.
"The latest contribution will provide 6.6 million dollars for UNRWA's general fund and 2.4 million dollars for special projects," the statement said.
On Tuesday, Jordan's King Abdullah II called on the international community to pay the money it pledged to UNRWA, which is facing a deficit of about 30-40 million dollars, according to its commissioner general, Peter Hansen.
"UNRWA should continue to provide its services to the Palestinian refugees, and the international community must respect its financial pledges to the agency so that it can meet its responsibilities towards the refugees," Abdullah said during a meeting Tuesday with Hansen.
Hansen has warned repeatedly that UNRWA could cut essential services to the more than 3.5 million refugees registered with it unless donors cover their pledges.
UNRWA provides health, education and social services to the refugees, most of whom live in miserable conditions in camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – AMMAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)