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Letter to Pat Conaghan MP re the slashing of funding to UNRWA in the federal government's 2020 budget,

 Dear Mr Conaghan,

I was dismayed to read in the budget papers that the Coalition government plans to reduce its support to UNRWA by 50%, from $20 million to $10 million.

UNRWA school in the Bourj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut
You may be aware that UNRWA provides vital support for the education of Palestinian children in refugee camps across the Middle East, from the West Bank,  to Lebanon and Jordan. The agency is already massively underfunded as a result of the US government’s decision over a year ago to cease all funding for this vital humanitarian work. It seems that our government is happy to follow Trump’s cruel lead.

Children are our future, wherever they live, and we should feel a moral

UNRWA school in the Bourj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut
obligation to support their educational needs. These funding cuts make it increasingly difficult for these young people to learn and to eventually make a contribution to a better world.

I have seen UNRWA’s work at first hand in Beirut and in the West Bank. The organisation desperately needs our ongoing support, not funding cuts. If we can afford billions to support businesses  during this pandemic, we can surely afford $20 million to maintain our support for the education of Palestinian children.

Yours sincerely

Mike ........ 

Valla Beach

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