Washington urges donors to support UNRWA amid broad Palestinian demands to cancel the framework agreement

The US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said on Monday, October 4, 2021, that his country is concerned about the possibility that the “UNRWA” will not be able to provide its services in the month of November. And next December due to the financial deficit.

In response to a question from Jerusalem regarding the statements of UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philip Lazarani, that the agency is facing an “existential” financial crisis that may prevent it from providing its services to Palestinian refugees in the next two months (November and December 2021), Price said, “As for UNRWA, we have contributed With $318 million to UNRWA in this fiscal year, we are closely following up and coordinating with other donors on the agency’s financial situation.”

"At the same time, we are also coordinating with and encouraging other donors who have not yet donated, or who have reduced their funding this year, to provide funding for core UNRWA programs to prevent UNRWA from suspending vital services in November and December of this year," Price added.

Last Friday, the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Philip Lazarani, said that the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees is facing an "existential" budget crisis and is calling for urgent funding of $120 million to maintain education, health care and other services. A basic service is running.

He added, "The financial situation poses a real existential threat to the organization, and we should not underestimate this because it may force the organization to reduce services," and if that happens, "we risk collapsing very quickly."

UNRWA is facing difficult situations due to the suspension of US support for the agency for three years during the administration of former US President Donald Trump, and the decline or interruption of the amount of global and Arab support for the agency during the past three years, under the pretext of “reforming the agency.”

The agency is also subjected to American pressures, apparently reformist, and in fact - according to some experts - aiming to reformulate the agency, or put it under the tent of the “United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” UNHCR, and deprive the Palestinian refugees of privacy.

Many believe that the so-called “framework agreement” signed between the United States and UNRWA on July 14, aims to eventually liquidate the agency.

The agreement stipulates the necessity of “neutrality of the employees and workers working in the agency (whose number exceeds 28 thousand employees and workers), interfering in the details of the agency’s work, imposing curricula that do not talk about the right of return for Palestinian refugees, for example, and other conditions.

The Palestinians, with all their political frameworks, reject the terms of the “Framework Agreement,” which is valid until the end of 2022, on the grounds that it serves the goals of the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, the national and Islamic forces and various popular activities in the Gaza Strip affirmed their rejection of the framework agreement between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the United States of America, which aims to resume funding for the United Nations in exchange for some conditions related to its work in the Palestinian territories. Given that this comes within the framework of American and Israeli efforts aimed at ending UNRWA's existence, and that the framework agreement signed last July is part of these efforts.

Al-Mudallal added, “We came today to raise the voice that this agreement is totally and completely rejected, as it carries severe risks for the refugees,” noting that the American behavior aims to undermine and liquidate UNRWA’s work and transfer refugees to the United Nations High Commissioner.


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