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UNRWA faces $270 million budget deficit

Aug. 23, 2018 2:59 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 27, 2018 2:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) currently faces a budget deficit of $270 million, which could cause serious consequences for the humanitarian situation in the region.

During a UN security council meeting, UN Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Rosemary Anne DeCarlo said "we always take note of the unprecedented financial problems that UNRWA has faced."

DeCarlo stressed, "the Secretary-General warned that if we cannot cover UNRWA's budget deficit of $270 million, we will face serious repercussions regarding the humanitarian situation, which will negatively affect the stability of the region."

DeCarlo called on the international community to make every effort to meet UNRWA's budget deficit.

This comes after the United States announced in mid-January the reduction of financial support to UNRWA from $350 million to $60 million, in order "to urge the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel."

Following the U.S. decision, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other State Department officials, warned that such a move would create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Jordan and the occupied West Bank.

The contributions from the U.S. made up a third of the agency's budget, according to UNRWA's website.

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