Dr. Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, highlighted the UAE's ongoing humanitarian commitment to support Palestinian refugees, which began during the era of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is being continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
He made this statement today while receiving, at the embassy's headquarters in Yarze, Claudio Cordone, Director-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, in Lebanon, who was accompanied by Hakam Shahwan, Director-General of the Executive Office and Chief of Staff of the UNRWA. Both sides discussed the latest decision by the United States, US, to stop its financial contributions to Palestine and its potential effect on refugees and the UNRWA's work.
During the meeting, Shahwan delivered a message from General Pierre Krqhenbuhl, UNRWA Commissioner, thanking the UAE for its support for the UNRWA, the latest of which is a donation of US$50 million to support its education programme while highlighting the necessity of providing the necessary financial support to the UNRWA, to ensure that refugees can receive basic education, health and relief services.
Shahwan added that the UNRWA's ongoing work is not just an accomplishment for the agency and those working in it, but also to relevant, supportive and friendly countries.
Al Shamsi highlighted the fact that the UAE provided $130 million to Palestine in 2017 and 2018, including $50 million last April to support the UNRWA's education programme, in addition to $15 million to ensure the start of the 2017-2018 school year, which helped to maintain the education system for over 500,000 students who are Palestinian refugees.
Al Shamsi also pointed out that the UAE provided $20 million this year to support Islamic endowment programmes in Jerusalem, upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa while noting that Emirati aid provided to the Palestinian people over the five past years amounted to $168 billion. He then stressed the importance and necessity of the UNRWA's ongoing work to ensure the rights of Palestinians and provide them with the necessary support.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs