Saudi Arabia donates $2 mln to UNRWA to support Palestinians

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Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it would be donating $2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the agency said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Jordan Naif al-Sudairi handed over a cheque to UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Amman yesterday, according to the statement.

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“Ambassador al-Sudairi stressed that this contribution aims to strengthen UNRWA’s ability to respond to human development and humanitarian needs of the Palestine Refugees in the region.”

The UNRWA said it has been facing “enormous financial challenges that threaten its ability to maintain its services,” and has called on governments, donors, and partners to continue their support to Palestine Refugees.

The United Nations estimates that more than 80 percent of people in Gaza live in poverty and rely heavily on aid provided by the organization.

Currently a quarter of a million people in Gaza have moved to shelters over the past 24 hours, the UNRWA said. The majority of those fleeing Israeli air strikes are hiding out in UNRWA schools where the agency said, “clean water has actually run out.”

Since October 7, when Hamas launched its deadly assault, Israeli warplanes have bombed neighborhood after neighborhood in the narrow, impoverished Gaza Strip, where more than one million children live.

At least 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 others were wounded in the Israeli bombardments on Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

A view shows houses and buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes, in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, October 11, 2023. (Reuters)
A view shows houses and buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes, in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, October 11, 2023. (Reuters)

Over 1,400 Israelis have died since October 7, the army has said.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman affirmed the Kingdom’s goals of de-escalating the violence and protecting civilians in Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

During a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the crown prince stressed the need to work on finding ways to end the military campaigns which claimed innocent lives, state news agency SPA reported.

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