BRICS urged to fill funding gap for Palestinian refugee services

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The head of the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees has appealed to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other emerging markets to plug a $75 million budgetary shortfall.

Filippo Grandi, the Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), made the appeal on Friday.

In January, UNRWA launched an emergency appeal for just over $300 million.

Mr. Grandi said that money was needed to finish the year and to keep schools and health clinics running for nearly five million registered Palestine refugees in the region.

"We believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just a regional issue but a global one and therefore the refugee question which is one of its components is also an issue of global humanitarian, human development and security concern. And we do appeal. Some of the BRICS countries are stepping up to that particular plate. I really want to single out Brazil as having made significant contributions last year and especially this year having just pledged 7 million dollars in Gaza."

Duration: 43''

Grandi also commended India for having become a regular donor to UNRWA in the last few years. Arab donors like Saudi Arabia have also stepped up.

Meanwhile, traditional donors like North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia continue to form the bulk of the agency's voluntary contributions.

Filed under Today's News.
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