UNRWA Seeks to Sustain Palestinian Refugee Services
The spokesperson for UNRWA, Tamara Al-Rifai, announced that a ministerial conference will be held in New York on September 21st to mobilize financial support for the final quarter of the current year.
The conference is organized by a Jordanian-Swedish coalition.
Al-Rifai emphasized that UNRWA has issued warnings about reaching a critical point, and this conference, taking place on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, aims to gather support for the last quarter of 2023 and discuss addressing the recurring resource shortages.
She also highlighted the priority of ensuring refugees’ basic rights such as education and healthcare, aiming for a just political solution that includes them.
In this context, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, stated during the Arab League Council meetings that UNRWA needs between $170 to $190 million to maintain essential services until the end of the year, in addition to an extra $75 million for life-saving food supplies for over half of Gaza’s population.
UNRWA, responsible for providing health, social, and educational services to approximately 6 million Palestinian refugees, issued an appeal for $1.6 billion for 2023 but has received only $812.3 million so far.
For nearly a decade, UNRWA has faced severe funding shortages, with the financial gap increasing each year.
Throughout these years, this funding shortfall has significantly impacted the quality of the agency’s services, as most Palestinian refugees continue to live below the poverty line.