UNRWA appeals for $1.5bn to support Palestinian refugees


The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said that it appealed to the international community to contribute $1.5 billion this year.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the UN body said that the fund “is for essential services, emergency appeals and priority projects for registered Palestine refugees in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The UN humanitarian agency said that, of the required $1.5 billion, $806 million “are needed for core services, such as education, health, relief, and social services, protection and infrastructure, and camp improvement”.

“To respond to the hardship caused by the Syrian conflict to Palestine refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, UNRWA is seeking $318 million.

“Both emergency appeals include adjustments that UNRWA made to its services to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among Palestinian refugees and address its impact.

“Approximately $170 million are needed for priority projects to repair or build UNRWA facilities and strengthen or improve core services,” it added.

UNRWA officials have said that the global agency is experiencing “a most serious financial crisis” in its history due to the severe shortage of donations for it.

The UN body financial crisis began after the US decided to cut $360 million from the agency in 2018, which was 30 per cent of its annual budget.

The UNRWA provides life-saving services to about 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation that include Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.