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UK to continue support for UNRWA

The British government yesterday announced that it would continue backing the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), a statement published on its website said.

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said in the statement: "UNRWA is a necessary humanitarian and stabilising force in the region, providing vital services to millions of Palestinian refugees every day."

The UK remains a firmly committed supporter of UNRWA, and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, and we will do everything we can to maintain continuity of essential services at this time.

UNRWA has said that it is suffering a budget deficit of $217 million this year, noting the deficit is a result of the US' decision to halt its annual payments to the refugee agency.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness yesterday described the US' decision as "a force for regional stability".

"Our funding gap is $217 million … so although we have opened up our schools just this week we have made it clear that we only have money until the end of September," he said.

Read: The plan to end UNRWA will not take away Palestinians' right of return

US decision to cut UNRWA funding – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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