Safadi, UNRWA chief discuss financial challenges facing agency

AMMAN — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi warned of the serious consequences of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA)  continued financial deficit, and stressed the importance of its role in rights of Palestinians under UN Resolution 194.  Over the phone, Safadi and UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl discussed steps to be taken to secure the necessary support for the agency’s efforts to continue providing educational, health and relief services to Palestine refugees in its five areas  of operation in the region.
The minister stressed the necessity of rallying the international community to address this deficit. Otherwise, the agency would no longer be able to continue to deliver its services to the Palestinian refugees in Jordan and elsewhere, according to a statement by the foreign ministry.
Safadi stressed that enabling UNRWA to continue its services is an international responsibility towards the refugees, whose cause is one of the most important final status issues that must be resolved on the basis of the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly UN Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative, to guarantee their right to return and compensation.
The international community must confirm and adopt this approach through practical steps that will enable UNRWA to fulfil its moral and legal duty towards refugees, Safadi added.
In March, the Kingdom organised an international conference in Rome to support UNRWA in coordination with Egypt, back then the head of the agency’s advisory committee, along with Sweden.
The conference, which generated over $100 million in financial support was attended by more than 70 countries, which reaffirmed their support of the agency and its role.
Jordan and Sweden also organised a conference to support UNRWA on the sidelines of last year’s UN General Assembly.
Krähenbühl praised the efforts exerted by Jordan to find effective solutions to the organisation’s financial challenges and ensure its continued international support.
Safadi and Krähenbühl will meet next week in Amman to discuss coordinating efforts towards mobilising political and financial support for the agency.
In a Tweet following the conversation, Safadi said: “Discussed #UNRWA financial challenges with CG @PKraehenbuehl. Maintaining UNRWA services is moral, legal duty towards refugees Intl community must uphold. Refugees is final status issue. It must be resolved on basis of UN resolutions, #API, meeting right to return & compensation”.
The development came as US-based Foreign Policy magazine reported that Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been promoting a scheme to undermine relief agency, citing internal e-mails obtained by the magazine.
“His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now are making their way through Congress to address the issue,” the August 3 report said. 
Jordan Times
August 4, 2018