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Palestinian refugees face hitting ‘rock bottom’, warns UNRWA in $1. 6 billion appeal

“On the one hand we are asked to deliver public-like providers to one of the most under-privileged neighborhoods in the region. We obviously are a UN agency (and) respect UN values, but in fact, we are funded like an NGO, meaning that we depend on non-reflex funding from Member Claims. ” “We also are providing emergency humanitarian help and hence my appeal today for a total of . 6 billion. ” UNRWA’s 2023 appeal just for . 6 billion includes 8 million for primary services including health, education and learning, relief, social services and protection. Another 1. six million is required for crisis operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.


Amid chronic financing shortfalls, UNRWA has expanded e-health access and telemedicine and launched a digital studying platform. “In the last 3 years, we had a ‘zero growth’ budget, which stayed perfectly level, ” Mr. Lazzarini said. Head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, told journalists in Geneva that competing global downturn, and skyrocketing levels of low income and unemployment among Palestine refugees, have put tremendous strain on them – and the agency – which began the year some million in arrears.

Totally reliant

“I thought that they had reached rock bottom a while ago, but I discover each time that this misery individuals are confronted with is getting worse plus worse, ” the UNRWA Commissioner-General said, of his recent visit to meet Palestinian refugees in Syria. “I witnessed first-hand indescribable suffering and despair. ” “We have seen improved poverty in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon …there has been a stiff increase compared to previous assessments, which means again, we are the only lifeline for this community. The same happened within Gaza; in Gaza, we have more than one million people who are furthermore dependent on our food assistance. ” “Obviously, it didn’t meet all our requirements, and that forced the agency to put in place austerity steps. And austerity comes in a cost; today, for instance, we all regularly have up to fifty children per teacher attending class. ”

In response to a renewed escalation of violence, a Palestine refugee family find refuge at the UNRWA Beit Lahiya Preparatory Girls’ School in northern Gaza.
Highlighting the vast scope of UNRWA’s work, Mr. Lazzarini explained that this agency provided services, much as a small government would. “We act in reality being a Minister of Education, the Minister of Primary Wellness, a Minister of Municipalities, a Ministry of Social Services for this extraordinarily vulnerable group of Palestinian refugees, ” he said.

Similarly challenging conditions apply in health care provided by UNRWA, which supplied seven million medical consultations within 2022. “On average, your doctor spent no more than three a few minutes with each patient, therefore it’s a bit quick, too, ” the Commissioner-General mentioned.

Austerity package

In response to a restored escalation of violence, a Palestine refugee family find refuge at the UNRWA Beit Lahiya Preparatory Girls’ College in northern Gaza. Most Palestine asylum seekers now live below the particular poverty-line and many depend on humanitarian education assistance, including cash and food, from UNRWA. ©UNRWA Photo/Mohamed Hinnawi The particular desperate situation of Syria’s Palestine refugees is mirrored in Gaza and Lebanon – where more than nine in 10 live beneath the poverty-line – and Gaza. “Many told me that every they asked for was a life of dignity, that’s not much to ask for, ” the Commissioner-General explained.


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