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UNRWA may not be able to open schools in September: Krahenbuhl

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Bulk253BRUSSELS (PNIC):-UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl has warned that the agency may not open its schools in the next school year that starts in September as a result of its most serious deficit in its 50-year history.

Krahenbuhl told Reuters in an interview during an international donor conference in Syria in Brussels that the shortfall in funding for the agency could mean there may not be enough money to reopen schools in September.

The UNRWA chief said US President Donald Trump withheld $305 million in funding, far more than the $65 million reported in last January.

"You already have a very, very fragile community [in Gaza], so if you suddenly have no certainty about the amount of food aid coming from the UN for a million people ... you can just imagine the kind of effects it could have," he said

Gulf states, Norway and Canada stepped in with a total of $200 million to help meet a planned $465 million budget for 2018, while the US would only provide $60 million of a promised $365 million, he stated.

That leaves a $200 million shortfall to fill for food supplies and also to keep funding schools in Gaza and the West Bank.

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