UNRWA Sends Off SOS For Palestinian Support To Donors
palestine–Donors have been convinced by the United Nations Work and Relief Agency (UNRWA) to contribute towards saving the lives of millions of Palestinians that are living in temporary homes in and around Israel.
The UNRWA was essentially established to protect and serve the needs of literally 7 million Palestinians who had fled or were forced from their homes during the war. For them, UNRWA is the only hope to provide health care, food and other services.
The organization also works at ensuring that 28,000 teachers, health workers, nurses, doctors, engineers, can be paid. All this lies in danger of coming to a halt, left donors decide to make an active contribution to fund these needs.
While donors have pledged $160 million to UNRWA, there is still a shortfall to make up for. There is still a need of a $100 million to support education for more than half a million children and provide primary health care for close to 2 million people and emergency cash assistance to the poorest refugees.
According to the agency chief, Philippe Lazzarini, there isn’t enough money left to pay salaries through September. The shortfall has been the same each year, but the escalating costs of commodities due to the ongoing war and Covid-19 recoveries has created more pressure on the funds.
There are now 5.7 million Palestinian refugees, including their children and grandchildren, who mostly live in camps that have been transformed into built-up but often impoverished residential areas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. But UNRWA only helps the more than 500,000 in school and close to 2 million who have health benefits.
Funding has been a problem; blame it on the fact that donor countries have now ‘de-prioritized, or maybe increased their indifference, or that domestic politics takes precedence’ over saving human lives.