UN to launch funding campaign for Palestinian refugees following US aid cut



The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will launch on Monday a funding campaign to face its budget deficit, a UNRWA official said on Sunday.

“UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl will hold a press conference in Gaza on Monday where he will announce the kick-off of the campaign,” UNRWA’s media advisor Adnan Abu Hasna told Xinhua.

The conference will send a message to the international community to start a funding campaign to help UNRWA continue providing its services to the Palestinian refugees.

“The agency is facing unprecedented challenges,” Abu Hasna said.

The campaign comes days after the United States decided to decrease its contribution to UNRWA in 2018 from 125 million US dollars to 65 million dollars.

The US administration has also announced it will not provide the agency with 45 million dollars for aid that it pledged in December last year.

The US President Donald Trump has recently threatened to reduce aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to return to the negotiation table with Israel.

The United States donates annually 364 million dollars to UNRWA, making it the largest sole contributor to the UN agency.

UNRWA, which provides assistance in education, health and food to some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, is already suffering from a 49-million dollars financial deficit and any fund suspension would have a negative impact on its work.