Ahmed Abu Houli, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and head of the Department of Refugee Affairs, has lauded the Saudi pledge to support the budget of UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly pledged to contribute $63 million for projects to be implemented in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan.
“The additional financial support provided by Saudi Arabia will contribute to the continuation of UNRWA’s vital services, in its five areas of operation for nearly 5.9 million Palestinian refugees,” Abu Houli said, in a statement issued on Saturday.
This Saudi decision will motivate other donors to pledge more funds to support UNRWA to compensate for the cuts in US aid, he said.
Abu Houli said Saudi Arabia has donated more than $160 million to UNRWA in 2018. UNRWA had counted on a budget of $1.2 billion for 2018 but faced a gap of $446 million when the Trump administration announced it was cutting support. UNRWA responded to its “unprecedented” financial pressures by seeking support across UN member states and raised an additional $382 million, bringing the shortfall for the year down to just $64 million.