The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plans to set up a special fund to support more than 5 million Palestinian refugees. According to an OIC statement issued yesterday, the organization's committee of experts met this week at the OIC's Jeddah headquarters to discuss plans to establish a special fund to provide millions of displaced Palestinians with badly-needed support.
OIC Secretary-General Youssef al-Othaimeen said the meeting was held to respond to the financial crisis now plaguing the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and its adverse impact on refugees' socio-economic conditions.
According to al-Othaimeen, the recent U.S. decision to cut funding to UNRWA threatens to "reduce, or completely halt, education and health services provided to more than five million Palestinian refugees."
In September, the U.S. administration announced a decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, plunging the refugee agency into the worst financial crisis in its history. In the OIC's statement, al-Othaimeen urged the international community to shoulder its political, legal and humanitarian responsibilities with a view to finding a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.