UN aid agency plans fund-raiser in response to US cuts

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says it's holding a special fund-raising conference next month in Rome to make up for a cut in funding by the Trump administration.

UNRWA's spokesman Chris Gunness said on Wednesday that Sweden, Jordan and Egypt will host the pledging conference in Rome on March 15.

Gunness says that "the purpose of the conference is to actively support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees."

It's the first-high level conference in response to U.S. funding cuts.

The United States — UNRWA's largest donor — committed $60 million this year, far short of the $360 million it provided last year.

The agency provides services to some 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East.