Japanese financial aid proves critical for UN agency for Palestinian refugees

January 25 , 2018

Yamaguchi meets with UNRWA Commissioner-General Krähenbühl on Jan. 24Yamaguchi meets with UNRWA Commissioner-General Krähenbühl on Jan. 24

Natsuo Yamaguchi, chief representative of the Komeito party, met with Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on January 24 in Tokyo. The UNRWA commissioner-general was in Japan to appeal for Japanese financial assistance in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to freeze U.S. funding to the agency.

Yamaguchi explained that 2018 fiscal budget does include an allotment for monetary assistance to international agencies and that the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito’s coalition government partner, would work to assist UNRWA as soon as possible. “We want to come to your aid and will work to sustain and expand the extent of our humanitarian funding,” he said.

Mr. Krähenbühl stressed that the agency was facing its gravest financial setback as the U.S. supplied almost 30% of its budget. Because education and medical assistance to refugee children will be lost, he explained, the UN agency was requesting Japan’s support.