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UN chief concerned about possible U.S. cut in aid for Palestinian refugee agency
Last Updated: 2018-01-17 08:02 | Xinhua
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses a special event to mark World Children's Day at theUnited Nationsheadquarters in New York, on Nov. 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed concern over a possible cut in U.S. contributions to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

"In UNRWA, I am very concerned. And I strongly hope that in the end it will be possible for theUnited Statesto maintain the funding of UNRWA in which the U.S. has a very important share," Guterres told reporters, referring to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency) is not a Palestinian institution, UNRWA is a UN institution, Guterres explained.

The agency is providing vital services to the Palestinian refugees, both in the occupied territories and in Jordan,Syria, and Lebanon, he said.

"Those services are of extreme importance, not only for the well-being of these populations -- and there is a serious humanitarian concern here -- but also, in my opinion and the opinion that is shared by most international observers, including someIsraeli ones, it is an important factor of stability."

If the agency will not be in a position to provide the vital services and the emergency forms of support that it has been providing, this will create a very, very serious problem, said the UN chief. "And we'll do everything we can to avoid the situation to occur."

It is reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to withhold tens of millions of dollars for UNRWA, which was created in 1949 as a relief and human development agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

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