NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi handed over the country’s enhanced contribution for Palestinian refugees to the representative of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), the branch of UN working to provide relief in the region.
Speaking on the occasion at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, ambassador Lodhi said this was done on the instructions of the government of Pakistan, and in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people.
“The people of Pakistan have always stood by their Palestinian brothers and sisters,” she added.
According to a statement, the senior diplomat stressed that the assistance will help UNRWA continue its relief efforts on the ground and keep the schools and clinics open, which are being administered by the agency inside Palestinian refugee camps.
This additional contribution comes at a critical time as the agency is facing a financial shortfall after a major donor ceased to continue its support. Countries belonging to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other states decided to step forward. Pakistan also joined the others.
Thanking Pakistan for the contribution, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl, said that Pakistan’s solidarity and support for the Palestinian people had been historic and extremely important.
Pakistan, he added, had not only supported the Palestinian cause financially but also in debates at the UN General Assembly in New York.
“This year’s financial support will enable UNRWA to keep the schools for five hundred and thirty thousand courageous Palestinian refugee boys and girls open, and also keep our clinics and primary health care centers running”, he added.
The UNRWA official also highlighted that the contribution would send a strong message to the Palestinian refugees that they are not forgotten.
It would enable UNRWA to continue to stand for the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people, he added.