Afghanistan donates $1 million to UN agency for Palestinians
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Afghanistan donates $1 million to UN agency for Palestinians

Afghan ambassador to Turkey presents donation during ceremony in Istanbul in bid to help cash-strapped UNRWA

Afghanistan's ambassador to Turkey, Abdul Rahim Sayed, left, presents his nation's $1 million in aid to Pierre Krahenbuhl, right, the Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, as Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, 2nd left and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, 2nd right, look on during a ceremony in Istanbul, March 3, 2019. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
Afghanistan's ambassador to Turkey, Abdul Rahim Sayed, left, presents his nation's $1 million in aid to Pierre Krahenbuhl, right, the Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, as Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, 2nd left and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, 2nd right, look on during a ceremony in Istanbul, March 3, 2019. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Afghanistan on Sunday gave $1 million to the main UN program for Palestinian refugees.

Abdul Rahim Sayed Jan, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Turkey, presented the donation to Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner of the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, in an Istanbul ceremony.

Turkey’s foreign minister, who hosted the meeting, congratulated Afghanistan for the donation. Mevlut Cavusoglu said that despite the hardships suffered by the Afghan people, their country has shown “the most beautiful example of international brotherhood with its noble act.”

Cavusoglu added that UNRWA would need more support in the future and promised Turkey would increase its aid to Palestinians.

A Palestinian man transports bags of flour outside an aid distribution center run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 20, 2018. (Said Khatib/AFP

Last August, the Trump administration announced it was cutting US funding for the agency. Washington has also cut other aid to the Palestinians in a bid to pressure the Palestinian Authority into negotiations with Israel.

Israel has alleged the UN agency perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by making it harder for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to settle abroad. It also rejects UNRWA criteria, under which refugee status is extended not only to the tens of thousands of Palestinians still alive who used to live in today’s Israel but also to over five million of their generations of descendants. Officials have called for the body to be shuttered and the refugees absorbed into other existing UN programs.

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