UNRWA reduces its deficit

Senior official in UN's agency for "Palestinian refugees" pledges to continue to provide services despite large budget deficit.

Dalit Halevi,

Arab woman outsides UNRWA headquarters in Gaza
Arab woman outsides UNRWA headquarters in Gaza

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said on Thursday that the agency for “Palestinian refugees” does not intend to reduce the services provided to refugees.

Speaking with the Palestinian Arab Safa news agency, Abu Hasna said that UNRWA would continue its contacts with donor countries in order to raise the money required to cover the budget deficit it is suffering from.

He added that in the past six months, UNRWA had managed to pay salaries and provide services to “refugees”, but there was still a large budget deficit of $256 million (down from $446 million).

The U.S. announced in January it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

The organization later received pledges of $100 million in additional funding from Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France as a means of making up for the aid that was cut by Washington.

Turkey earlier this month pledged an additional $10 million to fund the activities of UNRWA.

Earlier this week, a pledging conference for UNRWA was held in New York, the second such donors’ meeting in three months.

UNRWA is notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

More recently, the director of UNRWA operations in Gaza expressed his support for the anti-Israel marches along the Israel-Gaza border and pledged that the organization’s medical centers will provide care for “Palestinian refugees” who might sustain injuries during them.