Belgium doubles its contribution to the UN for Palestinian refugees
Saturday, 29 September 2018
Belgium has doubled its contributions to the UN (specifically the UNRWA agency) to help Palestinian refugees this year. The UNRWA agency, which provides healthcare, emergency aid and education to Palestinian refugees, has lacked funding since the US stopped its financial contributions.
At the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Belgian Foreign Affairs department announced it was giving UNRWA an additional 2 million euros. This takes the total Belgium has provided in aid this year to 14.25 million euros. Belgium contributed 7.25 million euros last year.
On Thursday, the General Commissioner for UNRWA Pierre Krähenbühl revealed the agency had received 118 million dollars (100 million euros) in additional funding to help deal with the crisis.
The US, which gave the agency 350 million dollars in 2017, announced it would pull its funding last month. It criticised the agency’s activities, saying they were “bias”.
Founded in 1949, UNRWA offers aid to Palestinians who fled the Israeli-Arab war in 1948-49. Today, it provides assistance to 5 million people living in the Gaza strip, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan.