NEW YORK, Friday, September 23, 2022 (WAFA) – Jordan and Sweden co-hosted a meeting yesterday in the presence of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly to explore ways to close the chronic funding gap of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UNRWA said in a press release.
“For too long, the international community’s approach to UNRWA has been marred by a mismatch between words and deeds. UNRWA is a safety-net for the most vulnerable, a source of stability in the region and a lifeline of hope and opportunity for millions,” said the UN Secretary General António Guterres during the meeting.
“We continue however to have UNRWA remain trapped in financial limbo. It is past time to match overwhelming support for the mandate with more sustainable and predictable funding for its operations. Let us help UNRWA help Palestine refugees. Let us invest in peace, stability and hope,” he added.
Earlier this month, more than half a million children returned to UNRWA schools across the region, an island of hope and for many a sanctuary away from violence and turbulence. UNRWA is the only UN agency in the world that runs a school system. All of this would not have been possible without consistent support from committed Member States and donors.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said, “I am grateful to the host nations and Member States for their engagement in support of the Agency and for their determination to enable UNRWA to fulfill its mission.”
“Jordan and Sweden, in particular, have gone above and beyond to enlist the continued commitment of the international community for the Agency and the refugees we support. The chronic financial shortfall of UNRWA is political by nature and can only be addressed through political will. I welcome today a renewed momentum to find lasting funding solutions, in line with the UN Secretary General 2017 report, to enable UNRWA to fully implement its mandate”.