A long-term lack of backing for the UN’s alleviation bureau for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, now represents an “existential” threat, its apical official warned connected Thursday.  

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, said that chronic and drastic backing shortfalls could even precipitate its collapse. 

“Today, austerity has reached its bounds and is impacting the prime of our services”, helium said, highlighting that contempt “rampant” poverty, the agency can nary longer increase the fig of refugees that it supports, .  

He added that "austerity reaches its bounds erstwhile we enactment 50 children successful a schoolroom oregon permission the astir deprived children without proscription oregon stationery...when a doc tin lone walk 3 minutes with a patient...[and] erstwhile galore teachers and sanitation laborers are regular paid workers. These are frontline unit and it truly pains maine that UNRWA cannot yet springiness them much unchangeable jobs”. 


In an unfastened missive to Palestine refugees, Mr. Lazzarini wrote that helium was “painfully aware” that further uncertainty about UNRWA’s “dire” financial concern added another furniture of distress to their lives. 

When everything astir you falls apart, being capable to nonstop your children to school, person wellness attraction and beryllium portion of a societal information nett are a lifeline”, helium added. 

The Commissioner-General spoke of his many meetings with Palestine refugees passim the year, including children successful Gaza who were mentally scarred in May by 10 days of rocket occurrence and airstrike exchanges between Israeli forces and equipped groups successful the enclave. 

He besides recalled encountering refugee families successful the West Bank “living with the regular menace of forced displacement; young graduates successful Burj Baranjeh camp whose lone anticipation for a amended aboriginal was to emigrate done unsafe migration routes; and refugees successful Jordan who faced immense fiscal hardships nether COVID-19”. 

Today, good implicit five million Palestinians have registered with UNRWA arsenic refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. 

Political attacks 

In his open letter, Mr. Lazzarini said that since 2018, political attacks on the agency's mandate had threatened to sever the “lifeline” of education, healthcare and societal payment that UNWRA provides. 

Attacks are based connected the foolish and incorrect thought that by closing UNRWA they volition erase 5.8 cardinal Palestine refugees – UN official

“These attacks purpose astatine harming the estimation of the Agency...[and] are based connected the foolish and incorrect thought that by closing UNRWA they volition erase 5.8 cardinal Palestine refugees”, helium said.  

“Let maine reassure you that your rights, including your close of instrumentality and compensation, are enshrined successful planetary instrumentality and UN resolutions and person thing to bash with the UNRWA mandate”. 

The bureau chief acknowledged that for adjacent to a decade, stagnating donor backing remained beneath the magnitude needed to provide quality services. 

At the aforesaid time as the exile colonisation has continued to grow, poverty and vulnerabilities person skyrocketed.  

To beforehand semipermanent backing security, Mr. Lazzarini said that the bureau planned to grow its donor base, increase digital fundraising and look into innovative backing mechanisms to ensure that Palestine refugees person continued entree to each services.