The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, is facing an unprecedented financial crisis, reports Turkey’s Anadolu news outlet.
Speaking at a press conference held in Jordan on Monday, UNRWA’s Acting Commissioner-General, Christian Saunders, said that the agency has a deficit of $322 million.
“UNRWA is a remarkably resilient agency that is undergoing the worst financial crisis in its history and requires the urgent attention and support of the international community,” said Saunders.
“The Agency is in an extremely precarious situation right now and we are facing the possibility of reducing and indeed stopping the provision of services in the coming weeks, if the Agency does not receive additional funding.”
Saunders stressed that the agency needs $80 million per month to maintain the progress of its operations.
“An additional $40 million [is needed] next month to buy medicines, and if the agency does not get $167 million before the third week of next month, we will have to reconsider the services provided,” he said.
UNRWA spokesperson, Sami Mshasha, said, “The withholding of contributions from UNRWA by some countries has contributed significantly to the Agency’s direct deficit.
“The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland are waiting for the results of the investigation to resume their contribution,” he pointed out.
Mshasha was referring to the investigation into former UNRWA head Pierre Krahenbuhl, who resigned earlier this month on allegations of sexual misconduct, nepotism and other abuses of or power.
The U.S. cut it’s funding to the agency in 2018 over calls for the agency to reform its practices.
The UNRWA has long been suspected of maintaining ties with Hamas. The terrorist group has used its schools and other facilities to hide weapons, and used them to hide their terror tunnels.
The agency has also remained under fire for keeping Hamas members on the agency’s payroll, and for failing to address their school’s curricula that are riddled with anti-Semitism, terror incitement, and martyr worship.
The UNRWA has been accused by Israel and the U.S. of grossly inflating the number of Palestinian refugees the agency claims to serve, in a strategy that has been called out for exacerbating the plight of the Palestinians, instead of improving it.
Israeli leaders and lawmakers have long called for UNRWA’s dissolution, urging the development of an organization that serves the interests of Palestinians, promotes peace, and discourages terror and violence.
Source » worldisraelnews