World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


European donation bails out Palestinian refugees

$76 million European donation bails out UN agency helping Palestinian refugees

A $76-million European Union donation to the main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees will allow it to continue working after the end of the month following warnings that a suspension of donor funding resulting from the militant Hamas victory in Palestinian elections could bring its work to a halt.

“We are grateful for the (European) Commission’s timely contribution to UNRWA’s 2006 regular budget. It will enable UNRWA to continue to deliver critically needed humanitarian services to Palestine refugees without interruption,” the Commissioner-General of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, Karen Koning AbuZayd said yesterday.

Facing “dramatically” new circumstances after the Hamas victory, Ms. AbuZayd had warned on Monday that UNRWA’s operations would grind to a halt by the end of the month.

“In the absence of remittances from those donors whose financial calendar normally enables them to transfer their contribution to us in January, UNRWA’s cash flow will allow for continuation of its operations only through March,” she told a meeting of the body’s Advisory Commission of major donors which ended in Amman, Jordan, yesterday.

Established in 1949 after the first Israeli-Arab war, UNRWA is by far the largest UN operation in the Middle East, with over 25,000 staff, almost all of them refugees themselves, working directly to benefit their communities as teachers, doctors, nurses or social workers, providing basic services to over 4.1 million registered Palestine refugees.

The “momentous political developments” stemming from January’s election victory by Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, have created a great deal of uncertainty about the future, Ms. AbuZayd told the meeting, the first session of the expanded Advisory Commission.

Established under the same General Assembly resolution that set up UNRWA itself, the Commission was enlarged in November to include 11 more countries whose contributions to the Agency have exceeded an annual average of $5 million over the past three years.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC