UNRWA urges donors to help cover budget deficit

GMT 00:33 2015 Friday ,11 September

Arab Today, arab today UNRWA urges donors to help cover budget deficit

United Nations Relief and Work Agency

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) called upon donors to fully cover its budget deficit so it can continue providing services, a UNRWA senior official said on Thursday.

In a press conference at the agency's main office in Gaza city, the UNRWA's Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said that the agency's budget crises continues to threaten its ability to provide services.

Krahenbuhl explained that the UNRWA received 80 million U.S. dollars of a 101 million deficit in its budget, urging donors to hastily cover the needed funds.

He said that the continuation of the UNRWA crisis and its escalation from time to time proves "the lack of justice" towards the Palestinian cause, stressing the need for the continuation of UNRWA services until the issue of Palestinian refugees receives a fair solution.

Krahenbuhl thanked all donors, particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for their contribution to cover a large part of the budget deficit, allowing the academic school year to start on schedule.

Earlier in August, the UNRWA officials had warned that the agency might be forced to postpone the school year for Palestinian refugees studying in its 700 schools before they later announced their ability to commit to the schedule.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the school year didn't go smoothly because of worker unions' protests.

Workers complained the agency's intention to increase the number of pupils in a classroom. Krahenbuhl then accepted demands that classrooms won't have more than 39 pupils and requested to hire 270 new teachers.

The UNRWA, established by a UN General Assembly resolution in 1949, has been sponsoring, aiding and running the daily life of the Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It offers refugees educational, medical, cultural and social care as well as humanitarian aid.

According to official statistics, the number of registered Palestinian refugees by the UNRWA on the first of January 2014 amounted up to about 5.4 million.

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