Jordan, Egypt and Sweden seek financial support for UNRWA

A ministerial emergency conference, co-hosted by Jordan, Egypt and Sweden, convened today in the Italian capital, aimed to boost support for UNRWA, the United Nation’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. The conference seeks to resolve financial difficulties of the U.N. agency – that after Washington, which is the primary donor-state of the organization, demanded much needed reform after years of criticism for UNRWA’s lack of transparency and inefficiency. The Trump Administration decided to commit 60 million dollars in financial-aid this year, which is down from 360 million dollars that were transferred to UNRWA in 2017; with additional funds intended for the U.N. agency frozen until it meets Washington’s demands. The demand by the Trump Administration for reform, however, was met with voices of anger and frustration, with UNRWA’s officials seeking alternative sources of income, rather than implementing any of the American demands. That said, while the international community has not shied away from rebuking the U.S. decision and voiced its support for the significance of UNRWA’s activities among the 5.3 million Palestinians the world body classifies as refugees; no country has shown true intent in filling the financial deficit, which amount this year at an estimated 445 million dollars.