Spokesperson of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, Sami Mosha’sha’, warned yesterday that the UNRWA may stop providing services to the Palestinian refugees unless an emergency fund of $246 million is supplied.

A press release, issued by the UNRWA on Sunday, confirmed that the needed fund will be allocated for emergency services in the Palestinian territories. “So far we have only received 11% of the emergency fund, a sum that could have barely met basic UNRWA’s needs, in a time the Palestinian population are facing major problems”, the press release maintained.

The UNRWA’s statement appealed to all donor countries to provide the needed support before May2007 to avert a critical financial crisis. Mosha’sha’ wondered as to why the Arab and international financial support for the UNRWA has been yet delayed. UNRWA’s financial deficit comes while the poverty rate throughout the occupied Palestinian territories has mounted to approximately 80%, while unemployment has reached to 60%, due to continued internationally-imposed economic embargo since last March.

With the advent of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948, the UNRWA has been providing food, health, educational and social services to the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip as well as other neighboring Arab countries.