Sat 23 Sep 2023 9:54 am - Jerusalem Time
UNRWA: The financial pledges made will only last for two months
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that with the pledges made at the conference held on Friday, it “will not be able to maintain its vital basic services for Palestine refugees except for the months of September and October.”
UNRWA added in a press statement issued on Saturday that it "will continue its efforts to mobilize the necessary funding to sustain its services until the end of the year."
UNRWA said that Jordan and Sweden hosted a high-level ministerial meeting to support Palestine refugees and UNRWA on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Member states reaffirmed their strong political support for the agency, and explored ways to break the stalemate that threatens its ability to provide basic services to Palestine refugees in the region, according to a statement by UNRWA, a copy of which was received by Dunya Al Watan.
It added that the generous pledges made by many Member States today will contribute to UNRWA's main budget used for vital services, including education and health care, and also to its emergency responses to multiple crises in the region.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said during the meeting: “I am very proud of the work of UNRWA - which is a lifeline for millions of Palestine refugees, but I am very concerned about its future.”
He added that the needs continue to increase, but the funds remain in place or decrease, noting that "preserving UNRWA is in our collective interest and is our collective responsibility."
For his part, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said: “What is urgently required is a just political solution for Palestine refugees, whose plight remains one of the longest unresolved refugee crises in the world.”
He added, "While we welcome the pledges made at this meeting, I urge our partners to place the protection of the rights of Palestine refugees at the top of their political agendas and to address the issue of UNRWA's sustainability."
UNRWA appealed to its partners to urgently provide sufficient funds this week, and to raise the focus on UNRWA from the financial situation to the sustainability of the agency and the right of Palestine refugees to a dignified life.