Costa announces to Guterres 10 ME support for UN agency for Palestinian refugees

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The outgoing prime minister will today inform the United Nations secretary-general of an increase of 10 million euros in Portuguese support for the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, deploring the “unacceptable” humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“Today I will have the opportunity to inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations [António Guterres] that the Council of Ministers [in Portugal], this very day, will adopt a resolution reinforcing by 10 million euros our humanitarian and specific support to the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees, in order to ensure its proper functioning and the capacity to provide food, medicine, humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, who are the victims of an unacceptable attack,” said António Costa.

Speaking at the arrival of his last European summit in Brussels, marked by an attempt to reach a common position on the Middle East given the humanitarian tragedy in the Gaza Strip, the outgoing head of government stressed that “the most important dimension of this [European] Council begins precisely with the lunch with the Secretary General of the United Nations, with a debate on the situation in the Middle East”.

On the occasion, “the need for an immediate pause, leading to a sustainable ceasefire, will be discussed, as the situation is absolutely unacceptable from a humanitarian point of view and under international law,” stressed António Costa.

“We are all unanimous in condemning the barbaric attack that took place on October 7 [committed by the Islamist group Hamas] against Israel, but we must all also be unanimous in condemning the unacceptable way in which Israel is currently exercising its right to defend itself, [which implies] rules and respect for human life,” he said.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has been the target of unsubstantiated accusations that some officials were involved in the Hamas attacks last October.

Even so, and given the role of this United Nations (UN) agency in supporting Palestinian refugees, at the end of 2023 Portugal reinforced its support for this organization with four million euros and, at the beginning of this year, announced an increase of one million.

In total, Portuguese support for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees will rise to 15 million euros.

The heads of government and state of the European Union (EU), meeting today in Brussels, will try to agree on a common position on the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, which is under increased pressure given the imminent risk of famine there.

The European Council kicks off with an informal meeting between EU leaders and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, during which he will report to EU heads of government and state on the UN’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The most recent conclusions of the European Council on the Middle East were adopted last October, given the impossibility of reaching a consensus in recent months.

This is the last summit at which Portugal will be represented by Prime Minister António Costa. A farewell video will be broadcast and the Portuguese politician will be presented with a statuette alluding to the European Council’s headquarters.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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