GAZA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) vowed Tuesday to continue its services despite the possibility that the U.S. will stop its financial aid.
"Despite austerity, the Agency is committed to continue its vital services to the Palestinian refugees," UNRWA Spokesman Sami Masha'sa said in a press release sent to Xinhua.
This commitment will not be affected by any intention of the United States to withhold assistance from the agency.
The U.S. is so far the biggest supporter of the UNRWA. It is contributing more than 300 million U.S. dollars to the agency annually.
"Even if without this year's U.S. financial pledges, UNRWA will not leave Palestinian refugees alone and will continue to operate in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as its presence and services in East Jerusalem," Masha'sa noted.
UNRWA provides services to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and operates 711 schools and 143 health clinics.
The United States has threatened to freeze or delay its financial support payment to the UNRWA until the Palestinians return to the negotiating table with Israel.
UNRWA plays a significant role in supporting Palestinian refugees by providing access to education, healthcare, social services and employment in the occupied Palestinian territories and in neighboring states.