UNRWA to Cancel Emergency Programs Due to Lack of Resources

UNRWA educates Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank (Photo: UNRWA)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (URNWA) stands before an unprecedented financial crisis, according to a report issued on Friday.

The spokesperson for the agency, Adnan Abu Hasna, confirmed that given such lack of resources, they would soon cancel programs and operations in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as services by May.

Furthermore, he explained that there was a commitment of donations worth 299 million, of which they only received 125 million, as part of a total budget of over 1.4 billion needed by 2020.

Thus, he added, that up to now there are no funds for emergency programs in Gaza and the West Bank.

URNWA’s interim commissioner, Christian Saunders, requested a minimum of 1.4 billion to pay humanitarian aid during this year to over five million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. He added that the sum would be split into 806 million for primary education, health, construction improvements to camps, relief, and protection services, among others.

The presentation of these priorities and requirements happened just following the recent decision of the UN General Assembly to extend the existence of URNWA until June 2023. If the requested resources arrive, the education of over half a million children in some 700 schools and the medical consultations of 8,500,000 people will be covered, as happened in 2019.

Another financial urgency includes an additional 155 million dollars in emergency aid in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Gaza, plus 270 million dollars to support Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

“Funding UNRWA is just the first step,” wrote renowned journalist and author Ramona Wadi.

“If the international community was serious about upholding human rights, it would emphasize the importance of funding for humanitarian endeavors alongside the Palestinian political struggle, which is intentionally thwarted partly through the discrepancy between financial aid and human rights violations. The international community has failed generations of Palestinians,” Wadi added.

(Palestine Chronicle, TeleSur, Social Media)

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