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Arabic: العربية

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, commended during a telephone call today, 15/06/2020, with Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, the important role played by the Agency to serve Palestine refugees.

The two sides discussed the arrangements related to the virtual donors’ conference, to be held in New York on 23/06/2020, at the invitation of the Foreign Ministers of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Sweden. The Secretary General expressed his hope that countries, regional and international financial institutions will pledge their financial contributions so that the Agency can continue providing services to Palestinian refugees.

The Secretary General reaffirmed the OIC keen interest to enhance coordination, consultation and partnership with the UNRWA in line with the relevant Resolutions of the Islamic Summit and the Council of Foreign Ministers. The OIC continued to urge Member States to provide more financial assistance to UNRWA to enable it to continue offering its basic services to Palestinian refugees until the settlement of their cause in accordance with the relevant international legitmacy resolutions.

He also underlined the OIC efforts to establish a development waqf to support Palestinian refugees, and contribute to the promtion of UNRWA role in enhacing the reslience of Palestinian refugees with pride and dignity.

On his part, Philippe Lazzarini expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary General in supporting UNRWA. He stressed UNRWA’s keen interest to enhance communication and cooperation with the OIC. Furthermore, he praised the support extended by OIC Member States for UNRWA’s various activities in the areas of humanitarian relief, development and social protection.

It is worth noting that OIC Member States accord special attention to UNRWA. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the Islamic Summit, announced a donation of USD 50 million to UNRWA 2019 main budget, while UNRWA confirmed that in 2018 Saudi Arabia became the third largest donor with a donation of USD 160 million.