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Jordan lauds int'l community's support for UNRWA

By JT - Dec 15,2019 - Last updated at Dec 15,2019

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday praised the UN General Assembly’s decision to renew the UNRWA mandate.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi took to Twitter the same day to express the Kingdom's gratitude for the move, writing: "Grateful to all (169 countries) who voted in support of renewing #UNRWA mandate. This is a vote in support of refugees right to live in dignity. Refugees issue can only be resolved on basis of Int’l law within a comprehensive solution that ends the occupation that began in 1967."

In November of 2019, the General Assembly voted to extend the mandate of the Palestinian refugee agency until 2023, Xinhua news agency reported.

Maintaining UNRWA means protecting the right of 5 million Palestinian refugees to dignified living, the right of half a million students to education and the right of hundreds of thousands to healthcare, Safadi had said in an earlier Foreign Ministry statement.

Rallying support for UNRWA, Jordan has repeatedly reiterated that UNRWA is tied to the refugee cause, which is one of the "most significant final-status issues and must be resolved in accordance with international legislative decisions", most notably UNGA Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace initiative, to guarantee the refugees’ rights of return and compensation.

The agency provides vital schooling and medical services to some 5 million Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

In Jordan, over 2.1 million registered Palestinian refugees distributed among 10 camps benefit from the agency’s services and financial aid.

The agency runs 169 schools in the Kingdom, serving some 120,000 enrolled students, as well as a faculty of science and educational arts, 25 primary healthcare centres and other services, according to Agence France-Presse news agency.

In 2018, the US suspended and later cut all funding for UNRWA, causing a financial crisis within the agency that threatened to see its schools and hospitals closed.

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