Home Politics 05/September/2022 02:59 PM

The financial and political challenges facing UNRWA require Arab and international support, says official

The financial and political challenges facing UNRWA require Arab and international support, says official
Palestine refugee students attending a school run by UNRWA. Education is one of the main services provided by the UN agency.

GAZA, Monday, September 5, 2022 (WAFA) - Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, head of the Refugee Affairs Department Ahmad Abu Houli today called on the Council of the League of Arab States at the level of Arab foreign ministers to adopt a draft resolution setting up a mechanism to urge Arab countries to fulfill their prescribed contributions at 7.8% of the general budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

He stressed in a statement the importance of Arab support to UNRWA, and the fulfillment of the prescribed contribution rate, which would contribute to alleviating the agency's chronic financial crisis, which has been exacerbated by the repercussions of the Ukrainian war, and the resulting economic crises that affected its financial aid, which left a negative impact on its services provided to Palestine refugees.

The Council of the Arab League at the level of Arab foreign ministers, chaired by Libya, will begin its meetings tomorrow morning, Tuesday, in Cairo in the presence of the Secretary-General of the Arab League, and with the participation of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

Abu Houli called on Arab countries to support UNRWA by reaching multi-year bilateral financial agreements with it.

He urged the Arab countries to use their good offices with UN member states to form a lobby to pressure the United Nations to increase its contributions to UNRWA's budget to cover its budget deficit.

The Arab League Council called for a mechanism for unified Arab action at the UN General Assembly to support the renewal of UNRWA’s mandate for three more years, starting from June 30, 2023, to June 30, 2026, without prejudicing the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly Resolution 194, or prejudicing UNRWA’s mandate, which is scheduled for a vote at the UN General Assembly next December.

Abu Houli stressed that renewing UNRWA’s mandate is an international entitlement until a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestine refugees issue is found in accordance with what was stated in Resolution 194.

He pointed out that the battle to preserve UNRWA is not limited to renewing its mandate, but rather includes addressing its chronic financial crisis by securing sufficient and sustainable funding for its budget.

He stressed that UNRWA is a stabilizing factor for the region through the services it provides to Palestine refugees and by preserving their rights sanctioned by international legitimacy and international humanitarian law, pointing out that the financial challenges and difficulties it faces and the political attacks targeting its existence require real Arab and international support on both the political and financial levels while taking into consideration the risks facing UNRWA existence.


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