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World powers to decide on future of UN agency for Palestinian refugees

Global powers will gather in Rome on Thursday to discuss the future of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) faces a crisis after the US froze hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. The UNRWA only has enough funds to keep schools and medical services open until May, its Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said. US President Donald Trump’s administration has so far committed only $60 million to the agency this year, down from $360 million in 2017, AFP reported. The US leader continues to pressure the Palestinians to end their boycott of his administration, sparked by his December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. UN officials want European countries to step in to fill part of the gap but are especially looking at Gulf Arab countries.