Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Monday with UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl during his current visit to Cairo, expressing Cairo's support to the agency's pivotal role to support and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, Egypt's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.
Shoukry presented the financial challenges facing the agency that undermine the UNRWA's capabilities of fulfilling its humanitarian commitment toward nearly 5.4 million Palestinian refugees.
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA thanked Egypt for its support during its chairmanship of UNRWA's Advisory Committee last year and the extensive contacts by the Egyptian diplomacy with international donors to help bridge the funding gap of UNRWA.
Foreign Minister Shoukry voiced Cairo's concern over the challenges facing the work of the UNRWA, while emphasizing that the organization is one of the most important tools that facilitate the living condition of the Palestinian people.
Shoukry praised the UNRWA's decision to commit to the start of the current school year by receiving hundred of thousands of Palestinian students in UNRWA schools despite the financial difficulties.
Krähenbühl expressed his appreciation for the Egyptian efforts exerted to reach a truce in Gaza and to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, pledging to continue coordination and consultation with Cairo to overcome the funding challenges facing the agency.
Last week, Egypt said it was deeply concerned after the US decision to end its decades-long funding for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees.
Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed Egypt's "deep concern about the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian refugees, which is becoming more difficult by the day, especially with the increasing restrictions on UNRWA, rendering it unable to fulfill its important role to care about vital and necessary refugee affairs."