UNRWA asks international community for $1.6 billion in 2022 – Middle East Monitor

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Tuesday that it is seeking $1.6 billion in 2022 from the international community.

In a press release, a copy of which was sent to NOTE, UNRWA said: “The funding will fulfill the mandate of the United Nations General Assembly to provide millions of Palestinian refugees with vital and life-saving services and programs, including education, health and aid food.”

The statement added: “The request includes additional emergency funding for UNRWA to meet humanitarian needs arising from the crises in Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Syria and Lebanon.”

UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini said: “The international community recognizes UNRWA’s life-saving role and its indispensable contribution to stability in the Middle East. She also recognizes how cost effective and agile UNRWA is.

Lazzarini added: “In 2022, this recognition must be supported by an adequate level of funding to respond to this critical moment for Palestinian refugees.”

He continued, “The Agency’s chronic budget deficits threaten the livelihoods and well-being of the Palestinian refugees UNRWA serves and pose a serious threat to the Agency’s ability to sustain its services.”

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The statement said the 2022 budget proposal “comes as UNRWA faces a chronic funding shortfall that undermines its efforts to provide humanitarian and human development support to some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, whose needs keep increasing.”

He also said that “COVID-19 continues to pose serious health risks and exacerbate economic hardship across the region, with now an estimated 2.3 million Palestinian refugees living in poverty. UNRWA is their only lifeline.

“Distress and desperation have become the norm among Palestinian refugees, with many in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon saying they are ready to use any means to try to migrate out of the region.”

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