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UN Chief Seeks More Funding for Palestinians After US Cut Aiding UNRWA

© AP Photo / UNRWAPalestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies (File)
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies (File) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sought to rally other countries to help the Palestinian refugee agency fill in a gaping hole in the budget after the United States ended funding.

"The Secretary-General calls on other countries to help fill the remaining financial gap, so that UNRWA can continue to provide this vital assistance, as well as a sense of hope this vulnerable population," his spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

US State Department spokeswoman Healther Nauert said Friday the US administration had stopped all funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) after a careful review found it to be unsustainable. The UNRWA denied this and promised to look for new donors.

READ MORE: Over 100 US Congressmen Urge Trump to Resume Contributions to UNRWA

Residents of Syria's Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus, use a wheelchair to carry a box of goods distributed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on July 17, 2014 - Sputnik International
End of US Aid to Palestinians Threatens Regional Peace - Moscow
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN boss, said the organization regretted the move by the United States, which had traditionally been the agency's largest single contributor. "We appreciate its support over the years," he added.

The agency faced an unexpected financial crisis in January when the United States froze a half of its funding for Palestinian programs. Dujarric said the UNRWA responded by expanding its donor base, exploring "new avenues of support," and cutting costs.

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