UN coordinator says UN Palestine agency facing cash flow crisis

A Palestinian man carries a sacks of flour received from a UNRWA in Gaza (Mahmud Hams - AFP).

Middle East Monitor  /  July 28, 2021

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is going through a cash flow crisis, said Lynn Hastings, the deputy special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

In her briefing to the UN Security Council, Hastings voiced concern about the financial situation at UNRWA, saying the projected shortfall under its Program Budget amounts to $100 million as of Wednesday.

“The agency also faces an imminent cash flow crisis which risks impacting the smooth opening of the school year for half a million girls and boys in Gaza,” said Hastings.

She warned that the absence of a fully-funded Program Budget also undermines UNRWA’s capacity to conduct much-needed humanitarian and early recovery activities in Gaza.

“I appeal once again to all donors, including those from the Arab region, to sustain the funding levels of past years and advance disbursements of funds as much as possible to avoid a disruption of essential services and humanitarian aid,” said Hastings.

Israel’s 11-day bombardment in May wreaked havoc on the economy in Gaza and further exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis.

At least 260 Palestinians were killed and were thousands injured in Israeli airstrikes. Thirteen Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza.