UNRWA suffers fiscal crisis, needs int’l support: Official

A senior Palestinian official announced that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) suffering a financial deficit estimated at about $100 million in the budget of programs related to health, education, and relief.

Ahmad Abu Holi, head of the Refugees’ Department in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the financial crisis prompted the UN agency to borrow from other international institutions to pay the salaries of its employees for May, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The high rates of poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity among the Palestinian refugees require the international community to act to support it and provide sufficient and sustainable funding,” Abu Holi said.

“The Arab’s support for UNRWA will be the focus of discussion in the 108th session of the Conference of Supervisors of Palestinian Affairs, which will be held on Sunday at the Arab League (AL) in Cairo,” he added.

Delegations of Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugees, including Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon, in addition to Egypt, the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will join the conference.

The Islamic World Organization for Education, Science, and Culture, as well as the Palestine sector and the occupied Arab territories in the AL, are scheduled to attend.

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 5.7 million Palestine refugees.

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