Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl said, on Thursday, that the recent US aid cuts represent the most severe crisis in the agency’s history.
Krähenbühl’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab Foreign ministers, in Cairo, to discuss the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The UN official said the agency is facing an unprecedented financial crisis because of the US decision to reduce its contribution to UNRWA, adding that he has been travelling around the world to call for mobilization to help UNRWA overcome this crisis.
He stressed, according to WAFA, that the UNRWA will work with all states in search of a solution to the crisis.
Krähenbühl said that the Arab countries have pledged to cover 7.8 percent of UNRWA’s annual program budget, but he suggested increasing their donations to 10 percent to help UNRWA meet its commitments towards the Palestinian refugees.
He said that the UNRWA has launched a global campaign to raise funds under the theme of “dignity for Palestinian refugees.”
Despite the current crisis, he said, the agency still opens its schools and clinics.
The United States, the largest contributor to the UNRWA, announced on January 16 that it will withhold $65 million out of $125 million it had planned to send to UNRWA this month.