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Jordan's queen appeals for more funds for UNRWA
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08:58, February 18, 2009

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Jordan's Queen Rania appealed here on Tuesday for more funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which shields over 4.6 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

It was quite alarming to know that the UNRWA is in financial jeopardy, the queen said at an extraordinary meeting of UNRWA's Advisory Commission, adding the agency is in very dire need of much more assistance.

Officials with the agency warned at the meeting that if the current 52 million-U.S.-dollar shortfall in UNRWA's General Fund continues, thousands of its staff, such as teachers and doctors, would not be paid, a consequence described by the queen as "unthinkable."

The queen of Palestinian origin said that UNRWA had offered the people of Gaza a "glimmer of light" during and after the 22-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

She said she could not imagine how the people of Gaza would have survived without the UNRWA, describing the agency as "teacher, doctor and food provider" working to offer a "lifeline to the people of Gaza."

"I urge all of you to make this a very urgent plea to your governments. The Palestinian people deserve it and I think our humanity demands it," Rania added.

The UNRWA has unveiled a 345-million-dollar "Quick Recovery Plan" for Gaza, which has received nearly 145 million dollars of confirmed pledges, according to the agency.


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