UNRWA launches global campaign after US fund cut

UNRWA launches global campaign after US fund cut

The campaign named 'Dignity is Priceless' aims to attract new donors for Palestinian refugees

By Eshat Firat

JERUSALEM (AA) - The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, announced that it has launched an international funding campaign after the U.S. cut aid to the agency.

The campaign named 'Dignity is Priceless' aims to attract new donors to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

In a written statement, the agency said the UNRWA could "face serious difficulties in upholding its mandate and preserving key services such as education and health care for Palestine refugees with the dramatic reduction of the U.S. contribution for 2018."

"Millions of Palestine refugees face devastating humanitarian crisis," the statement read, also urging people to use hashtags #DignityIsPriceless and #FundUNRWA to support the campaign.

The U.S. State Department announced on Tuesday it was withholding $65 million in aid to Palestine.

UNRWA provides services to 5.3 million Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The total U.S. contribution to UNRWA in 2017 was above $350 million.

On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The U.S. policy shift triggered outcry in the Arab and Muslim world and a wave of protests in the Palestinian lands that left at least 16 people dead.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

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