UNRWA, the UN agency supporting “Palestinian refugees” announced on Friday it would be seeking $800 million at a donor conference scheduled for November in Brussels.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that the organization needed “predictability” for its operations, according to the AFP news agency.
To fund UNRWA’s “three core activities” -- education, health and social services -- “we are seeking $800 million a year,” he was quoted as having told reporters ahead of the gathering, organized by Jordan and Sweden.
“The main objective of the conference is to have a better predictability” and to “promote visibility” added Lazzarini.
In addition to the $800 million, Lazzarini said there was also a need for funds for the humanitarian aid provided by UNRWA, which varies from one year to the next, depending on the crisis, but which the agency estimates will be around half a million dollars in 2022.
Lazzarini, who took the post last April, said his agency was $100 million short to see out this year, and warned that it might have to shut down some activities in November and December.
Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.
However, it is also 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.
The US, which was previously UNRWA's largest contributor, cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018, when Donald Trump was President. However, the Biden Administration has announced it intends to resume aid to UNRWA as well as other aid to the Palestinian Authority which was suspended by the Trump Administration.
Most recently, a UN Watch report revealed that more than 100 of UNRWA’s educators and staff have publicly promoted anti-Semitism and violence on social media, and that on numerous occasions the agency has failed to dismiss teachers who incited such hate.
Following the publication of the UN Watch report, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, sent letters of complaint to the Secretary-General of the UN and the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and demanded they take action.
UNRWA subsequently announced that it would launch a probe into the contents of the UN Watch report.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)