Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), speaks during a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (not seen in picture) in Amman, Jordan, Aug. 30, 2018. Jordan on Thursday called for political and financial support from the Arab world to keep the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) working after the U.S. cut its funding. (Xinhua/Mohammad Abu Ghosh)
AMMAN, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Jordan on Thursday called for political and financial support from the Arab world to keep the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) working after the U.S. cut its funding.
In a joint press conference held with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl, Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi called for an emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers council next month to rally support for the agency on the brink of breakdown.
Safadi also called for a meeting to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in a bid to mobilize political and financial support for the UNRWA.
The agency is facing severe financial shortage as the U.S. recently cut its financial aid to it.
"Any shortage in funding will drive hundreds of thousands towards deprivation and despair," said Safadi.
Krahenbuhl also said that the UNRWA faces severe fiscal difficulties, as the shortfall for this year is more than 200 million U.S. dollars.
"As long as a just and lasting solution has not been found on the issue of Israel-Palestine conflict, we will continue to implement the mandate that the General Assembly has given us," Krahenbuhl said.
"I can assure refugees that UNRWA is determined to stay an active player in the region until a solution is found," he said.
The UNRWA, created in 1949, has been providing services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The organization has over 700 schools serving almost 525,000 children and offers healthcare for some 3.5 million refugees through a network of 150 clinics.
Safadi stressed the need for continued support from the international community to keep the services afloat.
"Protection of UNRWA is a protection of the rights of millions of Palestinians in decent living and the rights of hundreds of thousands of students to education and health," said Safadi.