Palestinian refugees students. (File photo)
Addressing the UN Security Council on Monday, the UN envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said that the latest humanitarian needs assessment found that 2.45 million Palestinians — some 47 per cent of the population currently need aid.
Nickolay Mladenov told the ambassadors in his final briefing as Special Coordinator, “a disruption of vital services in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is hanging in the balance as the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) faces a funding gap of $88 million, which includes some $22 million to pay salaries of nearly 30,000 frontline education, health, social and other workers directly assisting Palestine refugees”.
“The Agency is not only a lifeline for millions of Palestine refugees, and fully engaged in the fight against COVID-19, but is also critical for regional stability”, said Mladenov. “Sufficient funding is essential for the Agency’s continuity, and I renew my appeal for support”.
He painted a picture of Palestinians being “upended from their homes” and forced to seek refuge across the region while “Jews have been upended from across the region” and forced to seek refuge in Israel.
Last week, the Palestinian Prime Minister and the Acting OPT Humanitarian Coordinator launched a 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, which includes a $417 million appeal to help 1.8 million vulnerable people over the coming year.
“The latest humanitarian needs assessment found that 2.45 million Palestinians — some 47 per cent of the population currently need aid”, he said.