UN refugee official urges EU to beef up aid to PA

A top UN refugee official urged the European Union on Thursday to do more to alleviate the crisis in the Palestinian Auhtority caused by international sanctions and a collapsing economy. Karen AbuZayd, commissioner general for UN Relief and Works Agency, said her agency urgently needed US $246 million in emergency funding to continue providing education, health care, social services and aid to 4.4 million Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. AbuZayd cited the recent Arab League peace initiative and formation of a Palestinian national unity government including Hamas and Fatah combined, as positive signs which require some "reward" from the international community.