European Community Increases Aid for Palestinian Refugees

The European Community’s Executive Commission has decided to allocate food commodities worth about $13 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

An additional cash contribution of $3 million is intended to cover the operating costs of the U.N. agency’s supplementary feeding program.

The grant, funded by the European Community’s food aid program, was announced here last week by a spokesperson for the commission.

UNRWA offers health, education and relief services to more than 2.2 million registered Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the Israeli-administered territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Under the current European Community-UNRWA program, which covers the 1987-1989 period, the 12 European member nations of the community also provide a cash contribution of about $18 million per year to UNRWA’s education program.

According to the commission, the total value of European Community assistance to Palestinian refugees under UNWRA’s regular program is expected to reach about $37 million in 1989, compared to about $35 million in 1988.

With a contribution representing some 20 percent of UNWRA’s estimated budget in 1989, the European Community is the second largest donor to UNRWA, the commission said.

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