A girl is seen at a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, on June 20, 2021, World Refugee Day. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
AMMAN — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) urgently needs between 50 million and 80 million US dollars to finish the year and maintain the operations of its schools, health centers and other basic services, the agency's Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini said Monday.
READ MORE: UN agency for Palestine refugees struggles to obtain funds
At the agency's Advisory Commission Meeting in Amman, Lazzarini warned that failure to raise that amount poses significant risks of industrial action, strikes, and consequently the suspension of services, according to a UNRWA statement.
situation will increase health and security risks for refugees and staff as
The agency also needs some 200 million dollars over a period of three years to reach the objectives of the UNRWA Strategic Plan, Lazzarini added.
After years of austerity measures, the current underfunding problem can only be downsized through cuts to services or to the eligibility to access them, he said.
"Our hospitalization program needs more support to remain effective in protecting Palestine refugees' access to hospitals amid widespread poverty and collapsing public services, in particular in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza," the UN official was quoted as saying.
He stressed that the current situation will increase health and security risks for refugees and staff as critical maintenance work and replacement of assets that have been worn down by years of austerity will be further postponed.