The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) warned on Monday that it would stop its operations aimed at helping Palestinian refugees as a result of financial strain, Anadolu reported.
UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl warned that the organisation is facing “unprecedented challenges”. He said that UNRWA suffers a financial deficit of $106.7 million this year and that this might result in the halt of UNRWA’s work within three months.
During a press conference in the organisation’s headquarters in New York to mark its 65th anniversary, Krähenbühl called for a lifting of the Israeli siege on the Palestinians. He stressed that the continuation of UNRWA’s work under current circumstances in Gaza, the West Bank and other camps is very difficult.
Meanwhile, Krähenbühl denied that UNRWA had planned to cut the number of its employees. “Currently, we have 30,000 employees, including 12,500 in Gaza,” he said. “All what are we doing is a review of the process of recruiting new employees. It is a mistake to think we will cut the number of employees.”
Krähenbühl cited the Israeli siege as one of the main reasons for the current difficulties facing UNRWA’s operation, along with a lack of cooperation between Fatah and Hamas and delays in receiving donor pledges.