The UN Palestinian refugee agency facing a major funding shortfall after US aid cuts is planning to defer payment of salaries and suspend some of its operations in Gaza, an official said Tuesday.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees was thrown into severe financial crisis after the United States cut $250 million from its budget.
Fact of the day: there are 2 million people in the #Gaza Strip, Palestine. Almost 1.3 million of them are refugees (living in 8 main camps) who were kicked out of their homes in what's now called #Israel. They rely on #UNRWA aids whose funding is being cut #WorldRefugeeDay pic.twitter.com/75BrD0K0Rx
— Ahmed Masoud (@masoud_ahmed) June 20, 2018
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov told a Security Council meeting that UNRWA is “weeks away from painful cuts to its emergency assistance for Gaza and elsewhere in the region”.
“In Gaza, this would include a deferral of salaries to some of its workforce in July and the start of suspending core operations in August.”
A must see! What would the situation in Gaza feel like, if Trump's threat to cut funding to UNRWA is implemented? pic.twitter.com/TgseOP0doc
— Pal+ English (@palplusenglish) January 21, 2018
The United Nations on Monday will host a pledging conference for UNRWA in New York – the second such donors’ meeting in three months.
In March, it raised $100 million for UNRWA during a conference in Rome but fell short of the $446 million needed to keep the agency afloat.
— Alwaght (@EnglishAlwaght) June 20, 2018
The United States is the biggest single donor to UNRWA, which provides schools and health clinics to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
The cuts to UNRWA services in Gaza come amid warnings from the United Nations that the enclave is close to the brink of war after scores of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during Great Return March protests near the border fence with Israel.
— Carole Landry (@carlandry_afp) June 19, 2018
In January, President Donald Trump’s administration announced that it was reducing its contribution to the agency, arguing that UNRWA was in need of reform.
— alQuds (@palestine_bs) January 23, 2018
US Ambassador Nikki Haley has said Washington will not restore the aid until the Palestinians agree “to come back to the negotiation table” with Israel.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)