Palestine Refugee Agency Urgently Needs $50M to $80M, Chief Says
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is in urgent need of funds to operate its schools, health care centers, and other basic services through the end of the year, agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said Monday. Lazzarini was speaking at the agency’s Advisory Commission meeting in Amman. He said the agency required $50 million to $80 million immediately to avoid the significant risk of industrial action, strikes, and the suspension of services, and that some $200 million was needed over the coming three years to execute UNRWA’s strategic plan. UNRWA has implemented austerity measures for years. The chronic underfunding has resulted in neglect of critical maintenance work and is sure to result in cuts in services and more restrictive eligibility requirements, he said. “Our hospitalization program needs more support to remain effective in protecting Palestine refugees’ access to hospitals amid widespread poverty and collapsing public services, in particular in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza,” he said.