UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 6)
Total pledges of $26,270,340 were made by 33 governments in the General Assembly today toward a requested 1968 budget of $47.5 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees. The pledges include a $22.2 million grant from the United States, the same as last year, which is subject to approval by Congress, and a one million pound ($285,000) contribution by Israel whose representative, Ambassador Michael Comay, said that his government was considering an additional grant for the education and training of refugee children.
The contributors represented less than one third of the 122 member nations of the world organization. They announced their grants at the General Assembly’s annual pledging conference which was addressed by Laurence Michelmore, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. It was noted that, at this time last year, pledges totaled $30. 1 million, including the U.S. grant. Mr. Michelmore had urged the member states to contribute at least $41.6 million toward the proposed overall budget. Mr. Michelmore declared that 1957 had been a crisis year for his agency and its charges “whose emergency needs are not ebbing.” He said that the “hopes entertained last summer for the return of substantial numbers of those who fled from areas occupied by Israeli forces have not been fulfilled” and added that, in fact, “there is still a steady flow crossing the Jordan River from West to East at the rate of about 1,000 per month.”
(In Rome, The World Food Plan, an affiliate of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, announced it would spend an estimated $1,264 000 in the next three months to feed 135,000 refugees and displaced persons in Jordan, Syria and Egypt.)