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Donor conference for Palestinian refugees to be held in March after US support cut

A donors’ conference will be held next month to help fill a funding gap at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees after the US decided to cut support, Sweden’s deputy UN ambassador said on Tuesday. The March 15 conference in Rome, hosted by Sweden, Jordan and Egypt, will be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Both officials have called on countries to step in and fill the gap left by the US cuts, AFP said. The US announced in January that it would give $60 million to UNRWA – a fraction of the $350 million annual contribution that it previously provided to the UN agency’s budget. Washington is the biggest single donor to UNRWA. The agency provides schools and health clinics to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.