OFFICIAL STATEMENT 116
Spain regrets US decision to end funding to UNRWA

​Spain regrets and rejects the serious decision announced by the US Department of State to totally suspend its contribution to the funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which had been already reduced down to 60 million dollars at the beginning of this year, and asks this decision be reconsidered, given the serious humanitarian crisis it may give rise to.

02/09/2018
Spain also rejects the accusations that the UNRWA is a corrupt, inefficient organisation. On the contrary, it believes that, for the almost seventy years in which it has been operating under extremely difficult conditions, UNRWA has faithfully met its duty to provide with emergency support and social assistance to the refugee Palestinian population.

The UNRWA critical financial situation arising from the Trump administration decision seriously threats the continuance of essential programs related to health, education or food aid, which have a direct impact on the Palestinian refugees of the Near East.

In addition to the serious damage regarding assistance and humanitarian protection, the suppression of basic services to 3 million Palestinian refugees may have a serious impact to the stability of the region, especially in the Gaza Strip.

Spain is firmly committed to the efforts being carried out by the main European donors and at international level, which are aimed at searching for joint solutions that allow UNRWA to continue its work in a sustainable way. This was the conclusion of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU in the informal meeting held on 30 and 31 August in Vienna. The Spanish Government believes that the EU and its member states must do additional efforts to offset, as far as possible, the consequences of the serious decision adopted by the US.

Spain, through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), will in the next weeks make an extraordinary provision to UNRWA, adjusted to the available budget, and shall actively participate in the Donors Conference organised by Jordan within the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations, which shall commence at the end of September.
 
 
 
 
-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-
 

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