Jordan’s share of UNRWA’s main budget totals $143 million

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan’s share of UNRWA’s 2022 main budget totals $143 million, yet there are calls to increase the budget to assist Palestinian refugees, according to Al-Mamlakah T.V.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Tamara Al Rifai, the spokesperson of the relief agency, she said that the budget allocated to Palestinian refugees in Jordan amounts to 18 percent of UNRWA’s main program budget, which totals $806 million.

Around $314 million, or 39 percent of the budget, is allocated to the Gaza Strip, which is the highest share of UNRWA’s program budget.

In 2022, UNRWA aims to collect $1.6 million from the international community to provide life-saving services and dynamic programs, including health, education, and food aid to millions of Palestinian refugees in need.

UNRWA recently released data indicating that around 5.8 million refugees are registered into the relief agency and distributed into various countries.

The Director General of the Palestinian Affairs Department, Rafiq Khirfan, pointed out, “Jordan’s budget from UNRWA does not align with the number of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, which is about 2.4 million. This makes up 40 percent of Palestinian refugees in all countries.”

Khirfan added, “For a long time, Jordan has asked for an increase to its share to reflect the number of Palestinian refugees on its lands,” pointing out, “UNRWA depends on Jordan’s generosity to deal with all the refugees.”

However, UNRWA stated that it allocated around $365 million for urgent humanitarian response in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan to support the Palestinian refugees in light of overlapping emergencies, including the Syrian conflict, Lebanon’s political and economic crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this regard, Khirfan said, “Jordan does not benefit from the emergency budget as it is a safe and stable country, unlike the other countries which suffer wars and instability.”

For the program budget, UNRWA allocated $806 million needed to fulfill the agency’s basic humanitarian development services, including education, health, aid, social services, and protection.

According to Khirfan, “Jordan provides direct and indirect services to Palestinian refugees, which cost more than what UNRWA spends across all its operational areas.” He also wished that UNRWA’s financial status would improve in 2022, especially following the multi-year agreements signed between UNRWA and donor countries at the Brussels conference.

The relief agency encountered several financial crises last year, which led to conflicts with its employees and nearly resulted in an open strike. UNRWA announced that it has undergone “an existential threat due to the unprecedented financial crisis,” adding that it was targeted by some unnamed authorities.

In November 2021, Jordan and Sweden held an international ministerial conference in Brussels to encourage multi-year commitments at $614 million. The UNRWA indicated that fulfilling the commitments would make up 40 percent of its main budget for 2022. 

The conference aimed at collecting funds, which enabled the agency to set plans for a minimum of 3 years without risk of financial disaster.

The UNRWA was established in 1949 by the UN General Assembly to provide aid and protection for about 5.7 million refugees registered by the UN.

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