Refugee Affairs calls for support for UNRWA during donors’ pledging conference

Ramallah – Ma’an – The Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) urged in a statement today all countries of the world to provide the necessary financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), during the donor countries’ pledging conference that will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday, July 12. The conference will begin with a speech by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly Dennis Francis, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

Dr. Ahmed Abu Houli, member of the Executive Committee and Head of the Refugee Affairs Department, stressed that the pledging conference comes after the important meeting held by the UNRWA Advisory Commission in Geneva on June 24-25, and the political support UNRWA received from all countries, stressing that this political support must be translated into actions through sufficient and sustainable financial su
pport capable of covering the financial deficit in UNRWA’s budget and bridging all funding gaps in the program budget, emergency appeals and projects, so that UNRWA can carry out its duties in accordance with its mandate granted to it by the General Assembly in accordance with Resolution 302, and so that UNRWA can continue to provide its life-saving services in light of the war of genocide and ethnic cleansing to which our Palestinian people are being subjected in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

Abu Holi added that the pledging conference this year comes at the height of the war of extermination that our Palestinian people are being subjected to, and the transformation of more than two million Palestinians into new displaced persons, and the systematic destruction of all the necessities of life inside the Gaza Strip and the camps of the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the planned and programmed targeting of UNRWA and attempts to undermine its work and tarnish its reputation in an attempt
to assassinate it as an international institution, ink of Israel’s constant and continuous efforts to link UNRWA to terrorism, and to present repeated and escalating false allegations against UNRWA employees, facilities and shelters, to justify the direct targeting of this international institution, in an attempt to undermine its work and prevent it from working.

Abu Holi added that UNRWA started its budget this year with a zero reserve, and that the program budget of $880 million for basic services including health, education, relief and social services and protection, was only 56% funded. Regarding the flash appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (Gaza and the West Bank including Jerusalem), Dr. Abu Holi stressed that UNRWA has launched the UNRWA Flash Appeal for Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territory, seeking to provide $1.21 billion to meet the most critical humanitarian needs of 1.7 million of the most vulnerable refugees and refugees. Non-refugees in Gaza, in addition to more than 200,000 i
ndividuals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, noting that only 16% of the funding for this appeal has been provided, as well as the urgent appeal for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, which has been funded by only 15% of the $415 million appeal, in addition to the projects item, where 15%, or $26 million, has been funded so far against requirements of $175 million.

Dr. Abu Houli stressed the importance of enhancing and developing the United Nations contribution to UNRWA’s budget, which would create a stable and sustainable environment in terms of funding, in addition to building on the achievements made in terms of contributions from individuals, institutions and the private sector in countries around the world, as UNRWA has recently achieved important accomplishments in this context.

Dr. Abu Holi called on the international community to stand firmly and firmly in supporting UNRWA, especially in the face of the fierce attack that UNRWA is being subjected to in the Gaza Strip and the attempt to prevent its
work, and the assault on its employees and headquarters, which requires a serious, independent and urgent investigation to determine the extent of the crimes committed by Israel against this international institution, as approximately 190 UNRWA buildings in Gaza were destroyed, more than 540 displaced persons were killed inside its shelters, and 197 UNRWA employees were killed, in addition to thousands of employees and displaced persons being injured.

Source: Maan News Agency