UNRWA: Historic fiscal deficit threatens to halt services to refugees

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has warned that many of its key services will be suspended if the large budget deficit for this year is not met before May.

"If the agency's large budget deficit, estimated at $1.275 million, is not filled by next May, many programs in UNRWA services will be affected, such as education, health and food distribution in all five areas of operations," said Adnan Abu Hasna, media advisor to the UNRWA presidency.

"We will introduce strict measures so that we can continue to work," abu Hasna added.

He noted that unrwa's budget deficit was "historic". He considers UNRWA's financial situation to be "very serious" and has not been in history since its inception.

"UNRWA recently announced its budget for this year of $1.4 billion, but only $125 million has arrived," he said.

He noted that there were pledges from several states to pay about $299 million before the $125 million arrived.

"This is an unprecedented financial deficit in unrwa history, as there has never been a year before, and there is only a small amount of money in the UNRWA treasury," he said.

"There is no funding for the emergency program in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while the budget of the public programs to cover emergency expenses will be borrowed, while in June the funds for the emergency program in Syria will run out."

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