MPPM welcomes the increase in the Portuguese contribution to UNRWA approved by the Portuguese parliament

MPPM – the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East – welcomes the decision taken by the Portuguese Parliament (Assembly of the Republic) on 28 November, in the framework of the discussion of the State Budget for 2019, to increase Portugal's contribution to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

The reinforcement now approved of the Portuguese contribution by 100,000 euros, was proposed by the Portuguese Communist Party. It is, in absolute terms, small compared to UNRWA's financing needs to address the dramatic humanitarian needs of the five million Palestinian refugees in Palestine itself and in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Even so, it almost doubles the Portuguese contribution of 2017 (around 120,000 euros, according to data provided by UNRWA). And, above all, this increase constitutes a step forward in the attitude of solidarity and justice on the part of Portugal.

The political significance of this decision by the Assembly of the Republic is all the more striking as it comes at a time when UNRWA faces serious difficulties after the current US Administration withdrew its financial support — seeking to make the problem of Palestinian refugees «disappear» and to conceal its origin, the ethnic cleansing carried out by Israel — following the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer there of its Embassy, in violation of international legality and in full alignment with the Zionist policy of occupation, colonization and denial of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

Welcoming the decision now taken, MPPM also reiterates the need for the Government of Portugal — following the appeal previously made by the Assembly of the Republic — to recognize without delay Palestine as an independent State with the borders of June 4, 1967, and having East Jerusalem as its capital.

Lisbon, November 29, 2018
The MPPM National Directorate

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