ROME / UNRWA CONFERENCE OPENING

15-Mar-2018 00:02:20
Opening the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference held today in FAO headquarters in Rome in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “UNRWA is an asset to the international community that we must protect and support.” FAO
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STORY: ROME / UNRWA CONFERENCE OPENING
TRT: 2:20
SOURCE: FAO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 15 MARCH 2018, ROME, ITALY
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Guterres exiting car and shaking hands with FAO Director-General
2. Wide shot, hoto op in front of FAO Constitution
3. Wide shot, conference
4. Cutaway, press
5. SOUNDBITE (English), Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General:
“By keeping half a million children in school and millions of people healthy and nourished, UNRWA is contributing to stability in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as in Jordan and Lebanon -- and has undertaken extraordinary efforts to support Palestinians who have suffered as a result of the tragedy in Syria. UNRWA is an asset to the international community that we must protect and support. Unfortunately, today’s financial crisis places all of UNRWA’s achievements at risk. Without a collective solution, UNRWA will soon run out of money. We must not allow this to happen.”
6. Various shots, audience
7. SOUNDBITE (English), Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General:
"But we must also recognize that the financial crisis facing the Agency today is unlike those in the past. It is far more grave, and threatens to cut programmes far more savagely. For 2018, with pledges reduced, UNRWA faces a shortfall not of millions, not even of tens of millions, but an estimated $446 million USD. Critical services could be reduced or eliminated entirely – from schools to sanitation, from medicine to microfinance to food security for some 1.7 million refugees in abject poverty or affected by conflict. This would have severe impacts – a cascade of problems that could push the suffering in disastrous and unpredictable directions.”
8. Various cutaway to audience
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General:
“I appeal to all donors – each government and organization in this room today – to step forward and give UNRWA what you can. Truly, what you can.”
10. Wide shot, conference
STORYLINE
Opening the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference held today in FAO headquarters in Rome in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “UNRWA is an asset to the international community that we must protect and support.”

Guterres also said “by keeping half a million children in school and millions of people healthy and nourished, UNRWA is contributing to stability in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as in Jordan and Lebanon -- and has undertaken extraordinary efforts to support Palestinians who have suffered as a result of the tragedy in Syria.”

UNRWA, the oldest and largest UN humanitarian and human development programme in the Middle East, serving over five million Palestine refugees, is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its 70 year history and may be forced to suspend services.

The Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden and Egypt co-chair the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference held in FAO headquarters in Rome in support of UNRWA. The aim is to actively support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of Palestinian Refugees and ensure that UNRWA’s unprecedented funding crisis of US$ 446 million is urgently resolved.

The Secretary-General said “we must also recognize that the financial crisis facing the Agency today is unlike those in the past. It is far more grave, and threatens to cut programmes far more savagely.”

He appealed to “all donors – each government and organization in this room today – to step forward and give UNRWA what you can. Truly, what you can.”

The Conference calls on the international community to join in a clear demonstration of concrete international support for UNRWA’s vital humanitarian efforts on behalf of Palestinian refugees, which is also an important contribution to stability in the region.
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