UNRWA Unable to Pay Staff Salaries Due to Funding Cuts

Students from UNRWA schools, enjoying an outdoor history lesson in Gaza. (Photo: via Twitter)

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will not be able to pay the salaries of its staff if donors do not send enough money this month, the UNRWA Director of Communications Sami Mshasha said yesterday.

Speaking to Wafa news agency, Mshasha said that UNRWA is facing difficulties raising money to pay the December salaries that amount to $40 million.

“There is not enough money in the banks to pay full salaries for this month,” he said, explaining that “the expected salary payment will depend on donor pledges, which usually are done on the 23rd and 24th of each month.”

“The most difficult thing is that we do not know until now how much we would be able to pay,” adding that “there is a deficit in the general budget, which includes salaries and basic services, by about $70 million,” Mshasha said.

“The emergency budget deficit is much greater, as we have received only 12 percent of the emergency budget in Syria, and 50 percent in Palestine, while we received only 40 percent of the COVID-19 budget.”

Last month, UNRWA said it might not be able to pay the full salaries of its staff for November causing an uproar among staff in its five areas of operation, which include the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It did, however, receive enough donations at the last minute.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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