UN agency for Palestinian refugees has funding up to end of August, says agency chief

UN agency for Palestinian refugees has funding up to end of August, says agency chief

UNRWA still faces shortfall of about $100-140M to reach end of year, says Lazzarini

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) on Tuesday underlined the funding gap, saying that the agency has a budget until the end of August.

Philippe Lazzarini told a press conference in Geneva that he is referring to the regular budget, which is the "backbone" of the organization that covers 30,000 staff.

"We have the cash until the end of August, and basically, we still have a shortfall of about $100-140 million to reach the end of the year," Lazzarini said.

Regarding the funding of emergency appeals, he said that the appeal on the occupied Palestinian territory is funded by 15-18%, while the appeal on Syria is about 15% funded.

"These two appeals are significantly underfunded, which prevents us, for example, from doing cash distribution or food distribution in Syria and Lebanon and in Gaza," he said.

About the recent appeal of $1.2 billion, he said that it is 15% funded and added: "We are far from the needs we were expecting to cover."

The UNRWA chief eyed the next donors' event in New York on July 12 as a chance to receive new contributions.

The agency is proportionally less funded in its regular budget than this time last year, he noted.

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