2022 UNRWA Photo
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has announced it is seeking from the international community US$ 1.6 billion in 2022.
UNRWA said in a press release issued last week that the funding will fulfill the mandate of the United Nations General Assembly to provide millions of Palestine refugees vital, lifesaving services and programs, including education, health, and food assistance.
The request includes additional emergency funding for UNRWA to address the humanitarian needs arising from crises in Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) Syria, and Lebanon.
“The international community recognizes the lifesaving role of UNRWA and its indispensable contribution to stability in the Middle East. It also recognizes how cost-efficient and agile UNRWA is. In 2022, that recognition must be supported by the adequate level of funding to meet this critical moment for Palestine refugees,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.
“Chronic Agency budget shortfalls threaten the livelihoods and well-being of the Palestine refugees that UNRWA serves and pose a serious threat to the Agency’s ability to maintain services”, added Lazzarini.
The 2022 budget proposal comes as UNRWA confronts a chronic funding shortfall that undermines its effort to provide humanitarian and human development support to some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, whose needs keep increasing. Moreover, COVID-19 continues to pose serious health risks and exacerbate economic hardships across the region, with now an estimated 2.3 million Palestine refugees living in poverty.
UNRWA said distress and despair have become the norm among Palestinian refugees, where many in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon report their readiness to use any means to try to migrate outside of the region.
“The amount that UNRWA is requesting for 2022 will directly contribute to the wellbeing of Palestine refugees, to efforts to combat and contain COVID-19 and to regional stability. UNRWA therefore should be every donor’s agency of choice, as it contributes to human development, provides humanitarian assistance and helps stabilize a region that is rife with crises. The international community must give UNRWA sufficient and predictable funding so we may continue to provide Palestine refugees with a sense of security and normality they deserve,” concluded Lazzarini.