Saudi Arabia extends $27m to UNRWA

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(Photo: Petra)
AMMAN UNRWA received $27 million in aid from Saudi Arabia on Sunday to help fund the agency’s operations in the region.اضافة اعلان

Saudi Ambassador Nayef bin Bandar Sudairi presented a check in the specified amount to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini during a ceremony in the Jordanian capital.

Underscoring his country’s support for the cause and rights of the Palestinian people, the ambassador reaffirmed the Saudi Arabia’s commitment to supporting UNRWA’s budget to enable it to fulfill its financial obligations, and improve living, educational, and medical services provided to Palestinian refugees.

“Saudi Arabia is committed to peace as a strategic option,” the envoy said.

“The security and stability of the Middle East demand that a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue be found as soon as possible, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, and that an independent Palestinian state be established on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he added, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The ambassador also stated that Saudi Arabia condemns all unilateral actions that undermine the two-state solution and demands their immediate and complete cessation.

The ambassador explained that Riyadh’s assistance to the Palestinians is the result of the kingdom’s steadfast belief in the critical support given by UNRWA to more than 5.4 million Palestinian refugees through its educational and health programs, relief and social services, and other employment opportunities it creates, so that the Palestinian people can live in dignity.

The ambassador affirmed that Saudi Arabia, under the guidance of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, and their keenness to support the Palestinians in the occupied territories, “is ambitious to support the UNRWA budget continuously”.

He said that his country has always devoted most of its capabilities to support the Palestinian cause in political, economic and social fields, in addition to its absolute support for the cause and the rights of the Palestinian people in the UN and humanitarian organizations.

Speaking in an interview with Jordan News, the ambassador said that the latest donation “is a continuation of the support process that has been going on for more than 70 years and aims to assist Palestine, its cause and its people”. He praised the efforts made in coordination between Jordan and Saudi Arabia in this regard.

The Head of the Refugee Affairs Department in the Palestine Liberation Organization, Ahmed Abu Houli, who attended the ceremony, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by its leadership, for its position and support, at all Arab, regional, and international levels for mobilizing political and financial support for UNRWA.

On this occasion, Abu Houli called on the donor and financier countries to fulfill their financial obligations and commitments towards Palestine, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did, noting that the financial donations will contribute significantly “to helping the UNRWA gets out of its financial crisis.”

For his part, Lazzarini praised the generous Saudi donation, noting that it demonstrated the kingdom’s continued generosity and support for Palestinian refugees as well as its renewed commitment to UNRWA.

This unrestricted donation will allow UNRWA to continue implementing its various programs, including those in education and health, and to assist the most vulnerable Palestine refugees in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, Philippe said.

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest donors to UNRWA, according to Lazzarini, who revealed that “Saudi Arabia has contributed nearly $1 billion to UNRWA in the past decade.”

Moreover, the latest contribution follows a pledge of $50 million the Kingdom made in 2019.

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