The United Arab Emirates has reiterated its commitment to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, expressing support for finding innovative solutions to financing the agency’s vital work.
In a statement at the special meeting of the UN General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Pledging for UNRWA, Saud Al Shamsi, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affaires of the UAE‘s Permanent Mission to the UN, renewed the country’s longstanding support to the agency. He underlined that the UAE’s commitment to UNRWA stems from the country’s historic and unwavering commitment to Palestinian people.
Al Shamsi also emphasised that the agency contributes to the maintenance of security and stability in the region.
The UAE official noted that the UAE’s additional contribution to the agency in 2018 amounted to over US$50 million, making the UAE the sixth largest donor to the agency for that year. This contribution has helped maintain the agency’s educational programmes for hundreds of UNRWA schools, as well as the agency’s health and food programme.
In addition, the UAE contributed $2 million to finance fuel for power stations which support hospitals in the Gaza Strip and provided $364 million through UAE aid initiatives in humanitarian, development, and food assistance to Palestinians during 2017 and 2018.
Al Shamsi stated that the UAE welcomed the decision of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation during its 46th session held in Abu Dhabi, which established a development fund in support of the UNRWA.
Additionally, he noted that the UAE will continue to support the agency including when it assumes the Vice-Chairmanship of the Advisory Committee of UNRWA in July 2019 Al Shamsi also underscored the importance of reaching a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause, ending the suffering of Palestinian people and establishing an independent Palestinian state based on the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He stressed that the UAE will continue to work with its international partners and UN agencies in support of humanitarian issues around the world.