(witness) calls on the next week's meeting of the Advisory Committee of UNRWA to provide sustainable funding to protect the rights of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinian association for Human Rights (witness) and Palestinian refugees are deeply concerned about the positions and statements issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Guterres, and the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr. Lazzarini, recently after the Donors Conference on June 2, 2023. There is a genuine fear of the financial collapse of UNRWA, which will force it to suspend its services by September 2023 unless it receives additional funds.
These statements came after a decline in voluntary financial support for UNRWA from many member states. UNRWA was only able to collect $107 million as initial commitments during the conference, which is an "insufficient" amount to sustain its services in the fields of health, education, relief, social services, and protection.
It is worth mentioning that the total amount received by UNRWA in 2023 is estimated at $812.3 million, while its actual needs exceed $1.6 billion. This reality clearly indicates that the agency's crisis has become real, deepening year after year due to its reliance on voluntary donations and the minimal contribution from the United Nations' general budget. UNRWA will soon become unable to provide services with the available resources, exacerbating the situation of Palestinian refugees and their suffering amidst the economic and financial downturn affecting UNRWA's five operational areas.
In light of these serious challenges, association for Human Rights (witness) calls for:
1️⃣ The Secretary-General of the United Nations to make UNRWA funding sustainable and based on contributions from member states rather than voluntary donations.
2️⃣ The Commissioner-General of UNRWA to make greater efforts to secure necessary funding and ensure the agency's continuity in providing services to refugees.
3️⃣ The Advisory Committee of UNRWA to organize an extensive international relations campaign to safeguard the agency and secure the necessary funding.
4️⃣ The Palestinian diplomacy to fulfill its responsibilities in promoting support for UNRWA and gaining endorsement in international forums.
On June 15, 2023,
Palestinian association for Human Rights (witness)