UNRWA to Make Difficult Decisions in April Due to $1bn Deficit

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

Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Operations in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, has announced that the international organization suffers from a $1 billion deficit, warning that it might make difficult decisions in April, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Schmale disclosed that the UNRWA is experiencing the “worst” financial crisis to date.

Schmale warned that his organization might be forced to make difficult decisions at the end of April, relating to offering services should the crisis remained unresolved.

He noted that the annual budget needed to provide proper services in its operation areas is about $1.4 billion.

“There are annual pledges from donor countries by $400 million,” Schmale explained, noting that basic services could continue until the end of April and if all pledges were paid, the services could continue until May.

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty.

“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, MEMO, Social Media)

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