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PLO slams delegation of UNRWA's services to other NGOs

A Palestinian man carries on his shoulder sacks of flour received from a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) distribution centre in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern of Gaza Strip , on 29 January 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian man carries on his shoulder sacks of flour received from a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza on 29 January 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

An official at the Palestine Liberation Organisation yesterday said that the Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugees refused recent calls for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)'s services to be delegated to other international bodies.

"The PLO completely rejects any attempts to halt UNRWA's work, or transfer its powers to refugee hosting countries or to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees {UNHCR)," Ahmad Abu Houli said in a statement

Commenting on what has been dubbed the "UNRWA Integration Scheme", Abu Houli stressed that the PLO rejects the transfer of UNRWA's services to other groups.

Scandinavian countries recently called for making UNRWA an independent agency under the supervision of international programmes such as the World Bank "to control waste and random employment."

Germany and France have said they backed UNRWA's integration into the UNHCR, while other European countries have recommended integrating the humanitarian organisation into the ministries of the refugee hosting countries.

In response, UNRWA's media office has said that the suggestion would be discussed during the "upcoming advisory committee meeting, slated to be held in Lebanon's Beirut in June."

READ: By redefining UNRWA, Washington destroys the foundation for a Just peace in Palestine 

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