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Italy donates $1.7 million to UNRWA

The Italian government donated 1.5 million Euros ($1.7 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) which would allow the agency to provide medical services for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Ma’an News reports.

The Italian government’s donation will allow UNRWA to provide hospital services and financial support to around 1,500 Palestinian refugees moving from Syria to Lebanon.

“An agreement was signed for this purpose between the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon, Massimo Marotti, and UNRWA Director, Claudio Cordoni. Marotti said, “Italy appreciates Lebanon’s efforts in supporting Syrian refugees and it will continue to assist the Lebanese government in the future.”

During 2017-2018, UNRWA received some 3.75 million Euros from the Italian government in support of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. UNRWA suffered a financial crisis after the United States announced the reduction of financial support to the agency from $350 million to $60 million, in order “to urge the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel.”

The contributions from the US made up a third of the agency’s budget, according to UNRWA’s website.

UNRWA provides services to some 5.4 million Palestinian refugees registered with the agency across its five fields of operation, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Its services include education, health care, relief, and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and micro-finance.