UN committee votes to extend the mandate of UNRWA for another three years

The Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted on Friday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) until 2023.

Some 170 countries voted in favor of the extension, and seven countries, including Guatemala and Canada, abstained. Only the United States and Israel opposed the resolution.

"The United Nations expresses grave concern at the particularly difficult situation of the Palestinian refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, welfare and social and economic living conditions," the resolution said.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riad Mansour, praised the decision, noting that it was "a historic day."

He also expressed his gratitude to the countries that voted in favor of extending the mandate, noting that UNRWA was one of the successful stories of the United Nations.

UNRWA, which is currently helping more than five million Palestine refugees and their children in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, faced its most severe funding crises in 2018 after the United States, traditionally the largest donor, suddenly cut its funding before it stopped fully supporting it.


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