Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry (R) during a meeting with Commissioner-General of the UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini in Cairo on Tuesday. (Photo: Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
In a meeting with Commissioner-General of the UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini on Tuesday, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry affirmed the urgent necessity for the agency to continue providing its regular services.
Shoukry praised UNRWA’s flexibility in seeking non-traditional funding sources to continue providing services to Palestinian refugees.
Lazzarini briefed Shoukry on the budgetary challenges facing the agency as it works to provide services to Palestinian refugees.
UNRWA has previously warned that it is “on the verge of financial collapse,” saying the agency will face a shortage of resources needed to deliver basic services and life-saving humanitarian aid starting in September.
Last June, donors at this year’s Pledging Conference for UNRWA provided only $107 million in new pledges, representing around one-third of what the agency asked for to help millions of people.
Lazzarini has warned that the new funds are insufficient to keep more than 700 schools and 140 clinics open from September through December.
Egypt has repeatedly urged donor states to provide the required funding for UNRWA through various international frameworks.
Egypt has also encouraged the resumption of progress towards a peaceful settlement for the Palestinian cause, saying it would reflect positively on the agency.
During his meeting with Lazzarini today, Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s keenness to provide the agency with its full support, including through working with international actors to ensure the provision of the required financial resources, regardless of political considerations.
For his part, Lazzarini praised Egypt’s efforts in mobilizing international support for the UNRWA.
The organization is keen to continue coordinating closely with Egypt to carry out its mission to serve Palestinian refugees, Lazzarini added.
Shoukry briefed Lazzarini on Egypt’s vision to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and preserve the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, especially their right to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.