UN Official: Survival of Palestine Refugee Agency Hinges On Support of Donor Countries

UN Official: Survival of Palestine Refugee Agency Hinges On Support of Donor Countries

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) needs increasing assistance by donor countries to continue to provide vital services for some 5.5 million Palestine refugees in its five fields of operation, said a UN official.

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said donor countries should increase support for UNRWA in order to help it sustain its core essential services for Palestine refugees all the way through its recently-renewed three-year mandate.

Haq said that over the past few years, UNRWA has encountered several difficulties in fulfilling its mission and providing high-quality services, such as education and healthcare, to Palestine refugees across the region.

“For this reason member states should provide strong and continuous support for the Agency. Their assistance is very much appreciated and their support is UNRWA’s key survival factor”, he stated.

Haq’s statement came shortly after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed, on Friday, the final vote to renew the mandate of the UN Palestine refugee agency for another three years, amid an ongoing probe into alleged mismanagement issues and strong opposition by the US and Israel.

UNRWA was established 70 years ago and provides essential services to Palestine refugees based on a mandate given to it by the General Assembly which is renewed every three years. UNRWA is experiencing the worst financial deficit in its 70 year history and is seeking to overcome a financial gap of nearly US$ 89 million before the end of the year.

UNRWA provides a humanitarian lifeline to some 5.4 million registered Palestine refugees across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

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