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Date: 18/05/2020

Arabic: العربية

The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) commended the efforts made by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in providing basic services for the Palestinian refugees, especially in light of the repercussions of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The OIC General Secretariat stressed its commitment to enhancing cooperation, coordination, and partnership with UNRWA in line with the relevant resolutions of the Islamic Summit and the Council of Foreign Ministers.

This was part of the phone call between Amb. Tariq Ali Bakheet, the OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, the Under Secretary General of the United Nations and the Commissioner General of the UNRWA.

Amb. Bakheet indicated the attention that OIC Secretary General, Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, attaches to the UNRWA’s support by urging Member States to provide more financial assistance to the UNRWA to continue its services to this large segment of the Palestinian people until the resolution of their issue as per the relevant international legitimacy resolutions. He also referred to the OIC ongoing efforts to establish the Waqf Development Fund to support Palestinian refugees.

For his part, Mr. Lazzarini expressed his appreciation for the efforts of Al-Othaimeen in supporting the UNRWA, noting its keenness to enhance communication and cooperation with the OIC. He also praised the support the OIC Member States provide for its various activities in the areas of humanitarian relief, development, and social protection.

During the call, the two sides exchanged views on the efforts exerted by the UNRWA through the strategic preparedness and response plan to COVID-19 to protect the Palestinian refugees against the repercussions and effects of the pandemic.