Palestinians collect food aid at a distribution center run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Gaza City

UN Palestinian refugee agency seeks $1.6 billion to counter cash crunch

UNRWA struggles to recover financially after Donald Trump cut aid in 2018, and while Biden's administration has restored some support, agency says still faces 'existential threat' over budget gaps

AFP |
Published: 01.18.22, 19:25
The United Nation's agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, announced a $1.6 billion funding appeal Tuesday to help counter "chronic" budget shortfalls.
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  • It is the latest in a series of warnings from UNRWA on possible deep cuts if the international community fails to provide more support.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinians collect food aid at a distribution centre run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Gaza City
    Palestinians collect food aid at a distribution centre run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Gaza City
    Palestinians collect food aid at a distribution center run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Gaza City
    (Photo: AFP)
    "Chronic agency budget shortfalls threaten the livelihoods and well-being of the Palestine refugees that UNRWA serves and pose a serious threat to the agency's ability to maintain services," agency head Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.
    UNRWA's funding suffered a blow in 2018 when former U.S. President Donald Trump cut support to the agency.
    His administration branded UNRWA as "irredeemably flawed," siding with Israeli criticisms of the agency founded in 1949, a year after Israel's creation.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    UNRWA commissioner general Philippe Lazzarini
    UNRWA commissioner general Philippe Lazzarini
    UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini
    President Joe Biden's administration has restored some support, but UNRWA has said it is still struggling. In November, it warned it was facing an "existential threat" over budget gaps.
    The agency has a staff of 28,000 and provides services such as education and health care to more than five million Palestinians registered in the Palestinian territories, including Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
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