UN official: UNRWA suffers from a deficit of one billion dollars

Mattias Shamali, director of operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, said that the total deficit suffered by the United Nations agency for this year is estimated at about one billion dollars, out of 1.4 billion.

Shamali described, in an interview with the Turkish "Anatolia" agency, the current financial crisis experienced by "UNRWA" as "the worst."

And he warned that the agency may have to make difficult decisions, at the end of next April, regarding the provision of its services, if the crisis continues as it is.

The financial crisis escalated for the United Nations agency, which provides services to more than 5.3 million refugees in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, after the United States suspended its annual support of $ 360 million since 2018, claiming that it opposes the way the agency works, which is criticized by the Israeli occupation.

UNRWA was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, in 1949, to provide assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees until a just solution to their issue is reached.

Shamali explained that the annual budget that UNRWA needs to provide its services in its areas of operations amounts to about 1.4 billion dollars.

He added, "There are pledges from donor countries in the amount of 400 million dollars for each year, which means that basic services can continue until next April, and if all pledges are paid, we may continue until next May."

Shamali stated that about $ 805 million is allocated from the total public budget as a budget for programs that include basic services such as health and education.

He pointed out that his agency has succeeded in providing food aid for two basic courses this year (the three-month course).


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