Palestine National Council Urges World Parliaments to Support UNRWA

Palestinian refugees hold a protest in front of the UNRWA offices in Gaza City. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine National Council (PNC) called on the parliaments and federations of the world to support UNRWA to overcome the biggest unprecedented financial crisis in its history this year.

In identical messages sent by PNC Speaker, Saleem al-Za’anoon, in cooperation with the PLO’s Refugee Affairs Department, to the heads of unions and parliamentary assemblies and a number of heads of parliaments all over the world, clarified that this stifling financial crisis directly affected UNRWA’s educational, health and relief services provided to Palestinian refugees, in the areas of UNRWA operations in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where Palestinian refugees live in difficult living conditions.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the severity of this crisis has exacerbated and increased due to poverty and unemployment, Al-Za’anoon added, noting that UNRWA has become threatened with cessation, which calls for greater capabilities to meet the increasing needs of refugees during this pandemic.

He said that UNRWA is unable to pay the salaries of its employees for December 2020, due to lack of cash, in addition to the transfer of a financial deficit of more than $85 million to the year 2021, in the event UNRWA does not receive additional funding, which will put the agency again under the same crisis, and will lead the region into uncertainty and instability, said the council.

“We, in PNC, look to you to address the member states to pressure their governments and urge them to support UNRWA financially, or to provide additional funding that contributes to allocate $85 million, to enable UNRWA to pay the salaries of its employees for December and to overcome its financial crisis, said al-Za’anoon.

He added that UNRWA should be enabled to continue providing its vital and necessary services to refugees, according to the mandate granted to it by Resolution 302, and to limit the transfer of deficit to the next year, which will result in increasing the burden of UNRWA financial budget 2021.

He stressed that continuing commitment to support UNRWA contributes to the security and stability of the refugee camps and the region, prevents the collapse of UNRWA, and at the same time represents a source of hope for millions of Palestinian refugees who are looking to you to support their just cause to return to their homes in accordance with Resolution 194.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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