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UNRWA suffers budget deficit of $500m

Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) seen during his visit to Gaza on Janaury 22, 2018 [Middle East Monitor / Mohammad Asad]
Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is seen during his visit to Gaza on 22 January, 2018 [Middle East Monitor/Mohammad Asad]

A UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) media spokesperson has said that the organisation needs $500m to meet its needs, Quds Press reported on Wednesday.

According to Adnan Abu-Hasna, UNRWA aims “through the campaign we launched this week to collect donations” to boost the UNRWA budget, “which suffered a dramatic and unprecedented deficit that is endangering its activities”.

Abu-Hasna said that there has been a “massive response” to the campaign, noting that the organisation had contacted several sides at all levels, targeting donors including the Palestinian private sector.

“UNRWA is currently talking with the International Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, as well as with the Palestinians in the diaspora to contribute to the donation campaign,” Abu-Hasna said.

Read: US cuts to UNRWA will hurt half a million Palestinian children

Pierre Krähenbühl‏, UNRWA Commissioner General, launched on Monday a donation campaign named “Dignity Is Priceless” to help cover the budget deficit of the organisation.

The campaign came after the US withheld $65m of its annual payment for UNRWA as a punishment for the Palestinians following their rejection of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

UNRWA serves over 5 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It runs 700 schools that educate 525,000 students and 150 clinics that see 9 million visit a year.

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