Geneva, MINA – The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, lunched on Tuesday from Geneva an appeal for $1.2 billion to fund the Agency’s vital core services and life-saving humanitarian aid for 5.4 million Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
It is the amount needed to keep UNRWA operations at the same level as in 2018, according to an UNRWA press release as a quoted by Anadolu.
“As we faced the most severe financial challenge in our history, it was both humbling and inspiring to have witnessed the extent and generosity of the response from host and donor governments,” Krahenbuhl is quoted as saying in the UNRWA statement.
The new budget, he added, “is essential to preserving key services carried out by courageous UNRWA staff in some of the most difficult and polarized regions of the Middle East”.
“At stake are the dignity and rights of Palestinian refugees — in particular the right to education for some 535,000 girls and boys — as well as regional stability,” Krahenbuhl said.
He added that $750 million was needed to continue the agency’s core activities, including education, health, relief and social services.
A further $138 million, Krahenbuhl said, would be required to provide emergency aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), while an additional $277 million would be needed to support the agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal.
Established in 1949, UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The United States has drastically reduced assistance to this institution since last year. (R/Ais/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)