Ministerial conference to be held discussing UNRWA funding

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A ministerial conference is scheduled to be held in New York on September 21 to mobilize financial support in Q4 of 2023 for the UNRWA for Palestinian Refugees. The conference is being organized by Jordan and Sweden, amid the agency's warning of "reaching a breaking point."اضافة اعلان

The agency's spokesperson, Tamara Al-Rifai, said in an interview with Al-Mamlaka, that the conference, which takes place on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, aims to gather support for the last quarter of 2023 and discuss ways to address the recurring resource shortage.

Rifai explained that the priority is for refugees to obtain their basic rights, such as the right to education, health, and others, until a just and inclusive political solution is reached.

Dire straits
UNRWA's Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, stated during the Arab League Council's meetings earlier this week that UNRWA needs between 170 to 190 million dollars to maintain essential services until the end of this year.

The agency also requires an additional 75 million dollars to continue providing life-saving food assistance to over half of the population in Gaza, according to Lazzarini.

At the beginning of the year, the agency issued an appeal to raise 1.6 billion dollars for its programs, operations, and emergency response in Syria, Lebanon, the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza, and Jordan.

He continued: "The current situation that hinders us today constitutes the main existential threat in front of us... and if nothing changes, the agency will reach a breaking point."

A political discussion
He stressed the need to elevate today's discussion from a financial one to a political one that addresses the dignity and well-being of Palestinian refugees, aiming to achieve regional stability and work towards peace.

UNRWA has been facing chronic funding shortages for the past 10 years, and the agency began the year 2022 with debts totaling 75 million dollars.

UNRWA was established in 1949, and its mission is to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestinian refugees in the agency's operational areas until a just and lasting solution to their plight is found. UNRWA operates in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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