Turkey to chair UNRWA advisory commission for one year
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkey took over the chairmanship of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Advisory Commission for one year on July 1, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
“The Advisory Commission with its 27 members provides assistance and advice to the UNRWA Commissioner General,” said a statement by the ministry.
The statement added: “Established by the UN General Assembly with the aim of protecting Palestinian refugees and improving their living conditions, UNRWA currently provides education to more than 530,000 students in 700 schools, health services to 3.5 million patients, food and financial assistance to 1.7 million refugees every year, as well as infrastructure support in nearly 60 refugee camps.
“Turkey, in line with the importance it places on the Palestinian issue and which has been a member of UNRWA since its establishment in 1949, strives to support the Agency to the fullest extent.”
It also said that Turkey made significant increases to contributing to the agency when it was vice chair during the last year.
“In order for UNRWA to continue its services without disruptions in the face of its growing financial problems, Turkey, as the chair of the Advisory Commission, will continue its efforts to place the agency on a more predictable, sustainable and sufficient financial footing,” it said.
The statement added: “In this context, our priorities include widening the donor-base and geographical diversity.”
Turkey has advanced and transferred its annual $1.5 million contribution to the agency as well as $10 million in additional funding. It further granted $1.2 million to the World Health Organization for the treatment of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces and increased its annual flour contribution to 26,000 tons.