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  • 09:05 - 14 October 2019

U.S., Israel seek destruction of refugee organization: Palestinian FM

Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riad Malki on Wednesday accused Israel and the U.S. administration of working on the destruction of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

"The American administration and Israel have set a target to destroy the international organization, which serves Palestinian refugees by all means," Malki said in statements to the official Palestinian radio station Voice of Palestine.

"The American administration and Israel are working with to their fullest influence power through several parties in the European Union or other national parliaments to change their countries positions toward supporting the UNRWA," he said.

The top Palestinian diplomat said that the Palestinian side is aware of the attacks against the organization, and the EU parliament motion against funding the UNRWA may be repeated in other places.

The EU parliament's financial committee earlier turned down a proposition by the Christian Democratic party to stop funding UNRWA on the basis of accusations over mismanagement and corruption.

UNRWA has been suffering from severe financial difficulties for several years and complained at the end of last year of a budget deficit of 49 million U.S. dollars that has affected the level of its services, particularly after the United States cut its aid to the agency last year.

The UNRWA has over 700 schools serving almost 525,000 children and offer healthcare for 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 U.S. dollars to extremely vulnerable refugees.

Throughout the region, UNRWA serves over five million Palestinian refugees.

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