x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UN seeks money for Palestine

Donors to the UN's Palestinian relief agency are urged to increase contributions during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the organisation.

NEW YORK // Reem Ibrahim al Hashimi, the chairwoman of Dubai Cares, urged donors to increase contributions to the UN's Palestinian relief agency during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the organisation. Ms al Hashimi joined Jordan's Queen Rania and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, at this week's UN General Assembly to celebrate six decades of the UN Relief and Works Agency.

She called on countries to "double their contributions and donations ... and enable the agency to overcome the difficulties it faces". Ms al Hashimi, who is also a Minister of State, said the UAE was among "the first countries to fulfil its financial obligations in the reconstruction plan" of Nahr el Bared refugee camp, where Emirati charities have built temporary schools and hospitals. The UN agency was founded in 1949 to help Palestinians uprooted by the creation of Israel. It runs clinics, schools and social services for 4.6 million refugees in camps across the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The agency's resources were particularly stretched by Israel's winter offensive in Gaza. Fabian McKinnon, an agency official, urged rulers from the Gulf nations to contribute more to the agency's regular budget as well as making one-time emergency donations. jreinl@thenational.ae