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UNRWA Launches Emergency Appeal for $800 Million After US Funding Cuts

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Gaza1Feb3GAZA (PNIC):-UNRWA has launched an appeal for over 800 million dollars to fund its emergency programs in Syria and Palestine.

According to a statement released on its website on Tuesday, approximately $400 million is needed only for the occupied Palestinian territory (Gaza and the West Bank). The appeal also covers some 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan.

At a launch event in Geneva, UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl explained that the majority of Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory and from Syria “rely on UNRWA to provide aid, which is literally life-saving, including food, water, shelter and medical assistance.

Our appeal,” he said, “enables UNRWA to continue delivering desperately needed relief to those affected by deepening emergency situations. However, the agency’s critical financial crisis following the reduction in US funds threatens our ability to deliver these vital services.”

Inside Syria, UNRWA says it is reaching over 400,000 Palestinian refugees with cash assistance, one of the largest such programs in an active conflict setting anywhere in the world.

Despite the immense security challenges, UNRWA is providing education to over 47,000 Palestinian refugees, supplementing regular classes with psychosocial support and safety-awareness training. For those unable to reach our classrooms, UNRWA has developed distance-learning materials.
In Gaza, with employment opportunities stifled by the decade-old blockade, the unemployment rate remains among the highest worldwide.

Almost one million Palestinian refugees are dependent on UNRWA for emergency food assistance, a tenfold increase on the 100,000 that required such support in 2000.

Three and a half years on from the 2014 hostilities, which caused unprecedented destruction and loss of life in Gaza, thousands of Palestinian refugee families remain displaced, and repairs to over 50,000 homes have yet to be completed.

The situation in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, remains fragile. Palestinian refugees continue to experience difficult socioeconomic conditions rooted in occupation-related policies and practices imposed by the Israeli authorities.

In addition to continued movement and access restrictions and shelter demolitions, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank experience high levels of food insecurity.

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