Aid for Palestine refugee agency at ‘all time low’

22 Aug 18

Funding for humanitarian operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is at an all-time low, as only 25% of the $540m needed this year has been provided.

The decline in funding for the UN agency assisting Palestine refugees, UNRWA, means that it only has enough money to keep its operations running until the end of September, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said.   

The agency’s chief Pierre Krähenbühl said that UNRWA is facing “its worst crisis ever”, as its current shortfall is $217m.

He said: “Specifically, we still need $123m for our programme budget activities, the core of UNRWA’s response and $94m for our emergency appeals.

“These are considerable amounts, without which operations cannot be ensured until the end of the year.”

The agency provides education, healthcare and social services for more than five million refugees across the Middle East and is the largest humanitarian agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator for the region, said in a statement last week that despite the ongoing conflict between Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli forces, “the outside world appears numb to the tragedy unfolding”.

He added that two million people in the territory are in need of protection due to conflict and violence, displacement or restricted access to employment and essential services.

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