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KUWAIT CALLS FOR INNOVATIVE MEANS TO BRIDGE UNRWA BUDGET DEFICIT

NEW YORK, – Kuwait’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Abdulaziz Al-Jarallah, called on the UN to develop more innovative ways, so as to cover the increasing costs of the activities of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The stifling deficit in the UNRWA budget poses a real threat to the aid programme of the UN Agency, he said, in a statement, on behalf of the Kuwaiti mission to the UN, at the meeting of the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation Committee).

Al-Jarallah reaffirmed Kuwait’s commitment to supporting the efforts of the UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krahenbuhl, to stabilise the Agency’s budget and ensure decent living for the Palestinian refugees.

Al-Jarallah expressed concern over UNRWA’s finances, which hinder the Agency’s efforts to carry on with its educational, social and relief services to the Palestinian refugees, both in the occupied territories and in hosting countries.

Kuwait has always been keen on backing UNRWA and has offered more than USD 169 million, both voluntary contributions to the Agency’s budget, as well as, responding to urgent appeals, the latest of which was USD 15 million, to help 500,000 Palestinian students, he said.

Kuwait set aside USD 50 million for Palestinian refugees in Syria, during three annual conferences, on the humanitarian situation in the war-plagued country, he added.

In 2009, Kuwait offered Palestinian refugees in Gaza USD 34 million, after Israel destroyed 36 UNRWA schools in the Strip.

In addition, Kuwait committed USD 200 million, to the efforts to reconstruct Gaza over the last three years, since the international conference held in Cairo in Oct, 2014, Al-Jarallah said.

Al-Jarallah reaffirmed the Palestinian right to return to their homeland, as per paragraph 11 of the General Assembly Resolution 194.

He urged the international community apply pressures on Israel, the occupying power, to comply with all resolutions of the international legitimacy and put an end to the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

Kuwait, as member of UNRWA’s Advisory Commission and a reliable donor to the Agency’s relief efforts, had raised its annual contribution to the Agency to USD two million in 2011, he added.

Founded by the UN General Assembly in 1949, UNRWA is mandated to provide assistance and protection to some five million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Source: Nam News Network