UNRWA confirms the continuation of providing services to refugees despite its financial crisis

UNRWA confirms the continuation of providing services to refugees despite its financial crisis

The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, affirmed on Wednesday the agency´s keenness to continue providing services to refugees despite its stifling financial crisis.

During a meeting with the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad Al-Malki, at the ministry´s headquarters in the city of Ramallah in the central West Bank, according to a statement issued by it, Lazzarini called for the need to provide support and assistance to UNRWA, including providing the necessary financial resources to carry out its activities, so that it can meet the needs of the refugees.

Last week, UNRWA launched an international appeal to raise $1.6 billion to cover the expenses of its programs for the current year for basic services that include health, education, relief, social services and protection.

A statement issued by UNRWA at the time said that the agency is working to maintain the provision of basic services in an "extremely difficult financial and political" context, noting that Palestine refugees face "unprecedented challenges and are increasingly dependent on UNRWA for basic services and survival."

The statement added that the multiplying challenges that "we faced during the past year, including funding shortages, conflicting global crises, inflation, and the massive rise in levels of poverty and unemployment among Palestine refugees,

At the end of last year, UNRWA officials announced the transfer of $80 million of the agency´s debts for the current year, the largest in its history.

For his part, Al-Malki called for providing all means of support to the Agency, and confronted campaigns that seek to distort this role, referring to the challenges facing UNRWA´s work at all levels, including the attempts of the Israeli authorities to "obstruct its work and put obstacles in the way of providing services to Palestinian refugees.”

UNRWA was established as a United Nations agency by a decision of the General Assembly in 1949, and it was mandated to provide assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees registered with it in the agency´s fields of operations, which include East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria until a just and lasting solution is reached in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.