Guo Wei (R), director of the China's Office to the State of Palestine, meets with Marc Lassouaoui, a senior official of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) , in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 30, 2019. China on Tuesday signed an agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to contribute 1 million U.S. dollars to the UN agency's food program in the Gaza Strip. (Str/Xinhua)
RAMALLAH, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday signed an agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to contribute 1 million U.S. dollars to the UN agency's food program in the Gaza Strip.
The deal was signed between Guo Wei, director of the China's Office to the State of Palestine, and Marc Lassouaoui, a senior official of the UNRWA.
The UNRWA hailed the agreement as a generous support by the government of China, expressing gratitude for the financial support in the light of the financial crisis it has suffered after the United States cut more than half of its aid.
Guo reiterated China's unwavering positon toward the support of Palestinian refugees through bilateral and multilateral channels.
"In recent years, the Chinese government has increased its donation to the UNRWA, and we also support the Palestinian refugees through bilateral channels," he said.
Meanwhile, Lassouaoui voiced his appreciation of China's efforts, saying the contribution from China, which has been "very strong and steadfast," will offer great assistance to a large number of Gazans in need of food.
The UNRWA has been suffering severe financial difficulties for several years, complaining about a budget deficit of 49 million dollars.
Palestinian officials said the U.S. reduction of UNRWA funds comes in line with the new policy of U.S. President Donald Trump to ignore the final issues of the peace process by removing the issues of Jerusalem and the refugees "off the table" and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The UNRWA is running more than 700 schools serving some 525,000 children and offering healthcare services to some 3.5 million refugees through a network of 150 clinics.
In addition, the agency's food and cash assistance program offers some 1.7 million dollars to extremely vulnerable refugees.
Throughout the region, UNRWA serves over 5 million Palestinian refugees.
China has called for the international community to help UNRWA overcome its financial crisis in order to uphold its obligations toward millions of refugees who rely on the UNRWA services, particularly in the Gaza Strip where the humanitarian crisis deepens.