Sunday 21 July 2024

UNRWA appeals for $1.6 billion for its 2023 budget

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, appealed Tuesday for $1.6 billion for its work in 2023.

“Across all the area of operations, UNRWA continues to play an indispensable role in the lives of millions of Palestine refugees. We work to maintain the delivery of basic services in an incredibly difficult financial and political context,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillippe Lazzarini. 


“Palestine refugees – one of the most underprivileged communities in the region-face unprecedented challenges and increasingly rely on UNRWA for basic services and in some cases for sheer survival.”   


He pointed out that compounding challenges over the last year including underfunding, competing global crises, inflation, disruption in the supply chain, geopolitical dynamics and skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment among Palestine refugees have put immense strain on UNRWA. 


Most Palestine refugees now live below the poverty line, many depend on humanitarian assistance, including cash and food, from UNRWA. 


“I have just come back from Syria, where I witnessed firsthand indescribable suffering and despair. The situation of Palestine refugees there is sadly mirrored in other places like Lebanon and Gaza, where Palestine refugees are hitting rock bottom. Many told me that all they asked for was a life of dignity, that’s not much to ask for,” continued the Commissioner-General.  


“For more than 70 years, UNRWA has been delivering and responding to the needs of Palestine refugees against all odds, shouldering a huge responsibility until a just and lasting political solution is found. We cannot and should not be always scrambling to bring in funds to cover our contribution to human rights and stability. I call for a more sustainable model of funding to this critical Agency under which UNRWA has a predictable, long term and regular source of funding. Without it, we will simply not be able to deliver and with that the lives of Palestine refugees will hang by a thread and millions of people in the region and beyond will be impacted,” says Commissioner-General Lazzarini.  



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