UNRWA: US decision to cut funding does not mean end of our work 

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Sami Musha’sha on Saturday said that Washington’s decision to cut funding for the agency does not mean the end its work, stressing that the decision is not an inevitable fate and not the end of the agency.

In an interview with Al-Ghad TV, Musha’sha said that even since the US reduced its contribution to the agency at the start of the year, the UN has moved on more than one level, and launched an unprecedented campaign to mobilize new and additional financial resources from the traditional donor countries, noting that it was able to raise a total of $ 238 million.

He explained that the American decision has had an impact on the services of the “UNRWA”, in terms of quantity and quality, but the Agency was able to catch a breath and put a counter policy, in hopes that  it will fruit despite the difficult situation, pointing out that the school year has been started and that this in itself is an achievement in the context of financial distress.

The US contributed about one third of a $1.1 billion 2017 budget. Last week, it has announced a $200 million cut in funding to the Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA provides aid, mostly in the form of education, health care, food security and other essentials, to some 800,000 Palestinians registered as refugees in the West Bank and 1.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, as well as 534,000 in Syria, 464,000 in Lebanon and 2 million in Jordan.