Abu Holi: "UNRWA" It will face a financial deficit in its budget unless donor countries resume funding



 The Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestine Liberation Organization welcomed, today, Saturday, Japan’s announcement to resume its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees, “UNRWA.” After the decision to freeze it last February following the Israeli allegations, it also welcomed the French and Kuwaiti support and their announcement of paying their financial obligations towards the agency.



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Member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Head of the Refugee Affairs Department, Ahmed Abu Houli, confirmed that Japan’s decision to resume its financial funding for UNRWA, which amounted to $48.5 million in the year 2023, will enable the agency to carry out its tasks according to the mandate granted to it by Resolution 302 and move forward. In saving the lives of millions of Palestinian refugees scattered in refugee camps in the host Arab countries, including Palestine. 



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And he said:  “We welcome Japanese support for UNRWA to support its budget for the year 2024, and we look forward that the decision to resume its funding will constitute a step to restore the trust between them that has been established over seven decades in which Japan has proven to be a strong partner and owner of the agency since its establishment.” Abu Holi stressed the importance of Japanese support allocated to the budget of projects and emergency appeals for Palestine and Syria, which gives UNRWA The ability to respond urgently to the emergency needs of Palestinian refugees, especially in the Gaza Strip, whose population has been subjected to a war of extermination and starvation waged by the Israeli occupation government for more than five months. He affirmed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s support for the reform steps and internal controls pursued by UNRWA. To enhance oversight, accountability, transparency and governance in its work, it strongly rejects any conditions or dictates that restrict the work of the UN agency’s programs or services that it provides to refugees, especially with regard to amending the curriculum taught in its schools, which is the jurisdiction of the host country’s government. In the same context, Abu Holi welcomed French support for UNRWA, which is estimated at 30 million euros ($32.41 million) to support its basic and emergency programs, especially in the Gaza Strip. He also welcomed the State of Kuwait’s financial contribution allocated to UNRWA for the year 2024, amounting to $2 million. He explained that France and Kuwait are among the countries that expressed their support for UNRWA despite the Israeli allegations, and maintained their funding for the agency and paid it on time, and refused to follow the Israeli project, which was expressed by officials in the occupation government, that there will be no role for UNRWA in the future. He pointed out that the French and Kuwaiti financial support directed to the agency will contribute to providing education and health to hundreds of thousands of students and millions of Palestinian refugees living in camps in Palestine and the host countries. It will also contribute to supporting infrastructure and basic life-saving services to confront the difficult conditions that the people are going through. The Palestinians under occupation, especially in the Gaza Strip, which is subjected to a war of extermination, starvation, and forced displacement  . Abu Holi called on the donor countries that continue to suspend their funding to follow the example of the countries that have resumed their funding, namely Sweden, Australia, Germany, Canada, the European Union, and most recently Japan, and to engage in the process of investing in the human development of 5.9 million Palestinian refugees in the region, and in contributing to achieving stability in the region. . Abu Holi explained that although six countries have resumed their funding for UNRWA from a group of 16 countries that suspended their funding due to the Israeli allegations, ten countries still continue to suspend their funding, which is estimated in total at $363 million, or 43% of the expected income for the year 2024. He stated that Funds available in UNRWA’s budget It will cover its needs until the end of next May, and it will be exposed to a much larger deficit than before in its regular and emergency budgets if donor countries do not resume their suspended funding.




Abu Holi stressed that “as long as there is no political solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, UNRWA will continue its work in providing its services to Palestinian refugees in accordance with the mandate granted to it by Resolution 302,” stressing that UNRWA will remain an existing need and necessity for millions. Refugees, because it represents a lifeline for them. During the past weeks, Abu Holi met with representatives of the donor countries that suspended their funding to UNRWA in the city of Ramallah, to inform them of the challenges facing the agency and to urge them to resume their funding and their moral and political commitment towards the Palestinian refugees until a just solution to their issue is found in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.

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