Arab League Funding Needed To Keep Up Support For Palestinian Refugees - UN Agency
Faizan Hashmi 6 days ago Wed 11th September 2019 | 10:37 PM
UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl called on Arab League member states to continue providing financial and political assistance for the agency, the UNRWA said in a press release on Wednesday
"The Commissioner-General of the UNRWA Pierre Krahenbuhl, has urgently called on Arab states for their continued financial and political support to Palestine refugees and to the work and role of the Agency at the Arab League Summit," the release said.
Krahenbuhl warned that the past 18 months have seen "severe attempts" to deligitimize UNRWA.
He said that as long as there is no lasting solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis, UNRWA's work remains crucial in the region. He urged member states of the Arab League to demonstrate the same commitment to the UN agency as it has in previous years, especially just before the renewal of the UNRWA's mandate in November.
The Council of the Arab League gathered in Cairo on Tuesday for the 152nd ministerial session to discuss regional crises in Syria, Yemen and Libya, as well as developments around Iran and Lebanon.
On the sidelines of the Council, Krahenbuhl held meetings with League of Arab States Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit, foreign ministers of Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and Qatar.
In June, Krahenbuhl warned that the UNRWA might suspend a number of its humanitarian operations due to financial gap the agency was confronted with. After being able to mobilize more than $110 million at the pledging conference in New York in May, a few donors also stepped in with financial support that allowed the UNRWA to open 709 schools in the West Bank for the new academic year.
In May, the UNRWA appealed for a total of $1.2 billion in funds for the year 2019.
The UN agency has faced a severe funding crisis since last year, when the United States, previously its largest single donor, said it would halt its annual contributions of around $360 million.