UN agency for Palestine refugees faces $100 funding gap

by IANS |

Ramallah, June 16 (IANS) The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) urged countries to increase financial contributions as it suffers from a $100 million funding gap.

Commissioner-General of the UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini said at a press conference held on the occasion of UNRWA's Advisory Commission meeting in Beirut that "we are facing a major financial crisis which reduced our ability to deal with the Palestinian refugees' crisis", reports Xinhua news agency.

Lazzarini noted that Palestinian refugees are going through a painful period in light of the agency's huge financial gap, stressing that Palestinian refugees are the most vulnerable communities in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

He added that 80 per cent of Palestinian families live below the poverty line and 80 percent of the children suffer from malnutrition.

He also noted that the UN General Assembly will host a pledging conference for the UNRWA on June 23 in New York.

The UNRWA was established in 1949 as a United Nations agency by a resolution of the General Assembly to provide assistance and protection to approximately 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with it in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

As one of the oldest humanitarian projects the UN had initiated, the agency has spent decades helping the displaced Palestinians.

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