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Italy doubles support to UNRWA

By JT - Mar 17,2018 - Last updated at Mar 17,2018

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano takes part in a meeting in support of UNRWA in Rome, on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Italian embassy)

AMMAN — The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano on Saturday announced the doubling of his country’s support to UNRWA, as part of the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting in support of the relief agency for Palestinian refugees, held at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome. 

The meeting, which was co-chaired by the foreign ministers of Jordan, Sweden and Egypt, was attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah, aimed at discussing UNRWA’s financial situation, according to a statement from the Italian Embassy in Amman.

“In order to tackle the crisis in Syria, during the last few years, UNRWA has been obliged to increase its assistance and relief activities for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees left in the country, and also assist the tens of thousands of displaced persons in Lebanon and Jordan. It is my pleasure to announce that in 2018 Italy intends to double the financial support to UNRWA-managed humanitarian activities. We will not fail to give our support to this Agency,” Alfano said, noting that Italy’s financial support to UNRWA-managed humanitarian activities will reach $17 million.

To these funds, Italy will add the financing of about 11.5 million euros that Italy has allocated for the expansion of the sewage system in Baqa’a Palestinian camp and in the region of Ain Al Basha in Balqa Governorate, the statement said. 

The intervention is destined to an area hosting one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, a reality that needs reliable infrastructure for the disposal of wastewater coming from both residential sources and commercial activities, and from institutional structures such as schools, health and religious centres. 

Part of the treated water will also be used to irrigate about 25 hectares of land owned by farmers, with whom the Water Authority of Jordan has signed specific agreements in line with the Jordanian legislation. 

The overall intervention is also intended to protect the status of groundwater in an area that currently hosts about 14,000 people, the statement concluded.

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