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Donors pledge USD 160 for UNRWA

GAZA, June 24 (KUNA) -- Donor countries have pledged USD 160 million for the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) to finance essential services provided to Palestinian refugees in West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
"The amounts pledged today will go straight to fund education, health and social protection services to Palestine refugees," said UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillippe Lazzarini in a press release on Friday.
"They will also be used to purchase food and deliver cash assistance to the most vulnerable Palestine refugees." The pledges were made on Thursday evening at a Pledging Conference held at the United Nations General Assembly in the presence of the Secretary-General.
The conference brought together dozens of nations to address the Agency's funding gap, which remains substantial despite the pledges announced.
The UN Agency unveiled that with the confirmed contributions and those that are forecast over the summer, it expects a shortfall of over USD 100 million on its core budget.
"But even with today's contributions, it will be very challenging to reconcile the requirements of the mandate, the immense hardships of Palestine refugees and the funding shortage that remains," Lazzarini added.
The Agency pointed out that it will continue its immense efforts to mobilize the funds it needs to keep essential services running until the end of the year.
"I truly hope that today's pledges will encourage other partners to step up and provide additional crucial assistance," Lazzarini said. (end) wab.ibi