The United Nations received pledges Thursday of almost $100 million in new funding for the U.N. relief agency for Palestine after the USA slashed its aid, but it is still facing a almost $350 million shortfall this year.
Guterres told the conference, which was sponsored by Jordan, Egypt and Sweden, that investment in United Nations programs addresses the despair and other factors "that lead to radicalization" among young Palestinians.
The almost 100-million-dollar total comes from 11 countries: Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France. Their combined commitment fell $350m short of the amount required by UNRWA.
Global powers will gather in Rome on Thursday to discuss the future of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, which faces an unprecedented crisis after the USA froze tens of millions of dollars in funding.
The US has frozen two planned payments worth more than $100 million - one for UNRWA's central budget and one for food aid.
In January, Trump tweeted "we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", accusing them of walking away from peace negotiations. The decision was made as a punishment to the Palestinian Authority for refusing to accede to U.S. and Israeli dictates on a settlement with Israel.
But with the administration of US President Donald Trump drastically cutting its contribution, the jobs and the frontline services it provides are at risk of closure.
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Trump is due to announce his proposal for new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and Lovatt said all countries were waiting to see what vision it proposes for UNRWA.
The protest coincided with a conference of donor countries held in the Italian capital Rome to discuss the worsening financial deficit in the UNRWA budget.
According to Gunness, existing funds will only allow the agency to carry on with operations until summertime, and so a "sustainable financial footing" is required.
It offers vital support for these refugees and their descendants in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza, providing services for more than three million people. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
The agency's commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbehl, said in a Twitter post "Palestine Refugees deserve recognition of their rights & stable delivery of UNRWA services".
Echoing many participants in today's event, Ayman Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, told the conference that Jordan, which plays host to over two million Palestine refugees, believed the case or bridging UNRWA's deficit was overwhelming "UNRWA needs to deliver vital services to the Palestinian refugees, and this is an worldwide political, legal, ethical and humanitarian responsibility".