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Diplomat: UK to donate 15.5 million pounds to UNRWA

Dec. 7, 2013 12:39 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2013 3:59 P.M.)
BEIRUT (Ma'an) -- The United Kingdom will donate 15.5 million pounds (over $25.3 million) to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, a British official announced during a visit to Lebanon Saturday.

Simon Gass, political director of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told reporters that the financial contribution to UNRWA would provide vital support to Palestinian refugees in Syria.

The donation will additionally support Palestinian refugees who have fled Syria for neighboring countries as a result of the ongoing Syrian civil war, Gass said.

He added that he had visited Dbayeh refugee camp east of Beirut and witnessed daily difficulties as Palestinian refugees continued to flood in from Syria.

UNRWA began operations on May 1, 1950, following the displacement of some 750,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel.

The UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate in absence of a political solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees, most recently extending it until June 2014.

Five million Palestinians are registered as refugees.
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