Spain asks EU to step in after U.S. decides to end assistance for Palestinian refugees
MADRID, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- In the wake of the U.S. decision to end financing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Spain Sunday urged the European Union (EU) and its member states for "supplementary" efforts to bridge the ensuing void.
The U.S. was a main contributor to the UNRWA and in a press communique Sunday, the Spanish Foreign Ministry asked Washington to reconsider the decision, taking into account that it had slashed its aid from 365 million U.S. dollars in 2017 to 60 million dollars at the start of 2018.
The "critical financial situation of the UNRWA caused by the decision taken by the (Donald) Trump administration seriously threatens the continuity of special programs in health, education and food, which directly benefit Palestinian refugees in the Middle East," it said. "The suppression of basic services to 3 million Palestinian refugees could have serious consequences for the stability of the region, especially in the Gaza Strip."
The ministry said Madrid is "fully committed" to "finding joint solutions", which will allow the UNRWA to continue its work in a sustainable manner.
"Spain considers that the EU and its member states should make a supplementary effort to compensate the possible consequences of the serious decision taken by the U.S.," it said.