The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is facing a budget deficit of 57 million dollars according to Richard Wright, Director of UNRWA ‘s New York office .
According to Wright, the main reasons for the deficit is donors’ failure to fulfill pledges, along with increased of the numbers of refugees in Gaza. The budget for this year is 1.3 billion dollars but it is still not enough to cover the basic services. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States, also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations.
This problem will affect many Palestinian refugees who rely on UNRWA for food aid, education, health care, social services and even the employees who get their salaries from UNRWA like teachers and health care workers. Last February, teachers at UNRWA schools in West Bank, Palestine organized protests because of late salary payments.
UNRWA hopes to receive more donations by the end of this year to be able to serve more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and help them achieve their full potential of human development.