|Jan. 24, 2018 -- The spokesperson of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees Sami Mshasha hailed China's continuous support for the work of the agency.
Mshasha expressed hope that the Chinese government would allocate additional funds for the UNRWA, continue defending the work of the agency, and help raise more funds for the UN agency.
"The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon registered with UNRWA are more than 469,000," he said, adding that this number may include people who left Lebanon but are entitled to UNRWA services anytime they return to Lebanon.
UNRWA spent about 40 million U.S. dollars in 2017 for the education of about 37,000 Palestinian students in 66 schools run by the agency and 1,000 students in the vocational training center, he said.
The UN official added that "the hospitalization bill for Palestinians who were referred to contracted hospitals was 14 million dollars," and that does not include "the treatment of 160,000 sick Palestinian in 27 health centers run by UNRWA in Lebanon."
He revealed that the social aid provided to 61,000 people living below the poverty line reached 7.5 million dollars.
The UNRWA restores houses in the camps and rehabilitates the necessary infrastructures such as water, sanitary and environment, he said.
Despite the unprecedented cut in financial support to the UNRWA, said Mshasha, "the agency did not lower its support to the refugees and is working hard to prevent this from happening through adopting special internal measures and boosting the efforts to secure more funds from various sources."
Washington said last Tuesday it would withhold about half of the initial aid it planned to give UNRWA, two weeks after President Donald Trump questioned the value of such funding.
Mshasha cautioned that "this cut in funding would result in severe consequences that would affect the lives of the Palestinian refugees in all the working fields of UNRWA, particularly in Lebanon."
The services that are considered at stake "include teaching, health and hospitalization, social services, infrastructures and financial aid in addition to the dignity and human security."
The UNRWA launched few days ago an international campaign to raise 500 million dollars in funds under the slogan "dignity is priceless," and the agency is urging all the sides, institutions, contributing countries, private companies and the members of the Palestinian community to join the campaign and support it.