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Jordan to lead fundraising for UN Palestinian refugees agency after US cuts

Jordan will lead a campaign to raise funds for the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, to help it survive after the United States cut its funding, Reuters reports. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said a meeting next month in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly would mobilize support for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to continue core education and health services. Jordan, which has 2.2 million UN-registered Palestinian refugees, will call for an Arab League meeting to lobby for donors to cover the $200 million shortfall needed to shore up UNRWA, Safadi said in Amman after meeting Pierre Krahenbuhl, the UNRWA head. UNRWA has faced a cash crisis since the US slashed funding earlier this year. Washington said the agency needed to make unspecified reforms. UNRWA now looks after more than 5 million descendants of around 700,000 original refugees of 1949 - in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.