UN agency for Palestine refugees struggles to obtain funds

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The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is going through a tough funding phase to provide services to Palestinian refugees, a senior official said Wednesday.

“UNRWA seeks $1.6 billion in support from the international community to cover expenses, provide services and humanitarian development programmes for Palestinian refugees,” Thomas White, director of UNRWA’s operations in the Gaza Strip, told reporters at his office in Gaza.

“The agency has requested 288 million dollars in rapid support,” White said, noting that the funds will be allocated for the regular programmes of the general budget for refugees in Gaza, represented by schools, clinics, and health centres, Xinhua news agency reported.

The agency wants to secure a sum of money for special emergencies in the event of natural disasters or any new Israeli wars that might be waged on the Gaza Strip, he added.

UNRWA was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 and was mandated to provide assistance and protection services including education, health care, relief, social services, camp infrastructure, improvement, protection and microfinance to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees.

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