Thousands of palestinians they are witnesses to the definitive forgetfulness of their cause. The agency of United Nations for the Refugees from Palestine in the Middle East (UNRWAhas announced that, for the first time in its history, it has run out of funds until the end of the year. “We are on the edge of the precipice, but I still believe that we can avoid falling if the solidarity of the international community& rdquor;, has said its general commissioner Phillippe Lazzarini since Gaza.
In West bank, meanwhile, the Israeli authorities have released the prisoner Maher al Akras, who was on a hunger strike for 103 days. In turn, they have demolished dozens of residential structures, after announcing the creation of 500 new homes for settlers in East Jerusalem.
If the agency fails to raise $ 70 million at the end of the month, its workforce of 28,000 employees will not receive the remaining salary for the year. “Right now, I don’t have enough funds to pay the November salaries to our team that is on the front lines of the Covid-19 & rdquor; pandemic,” Lazzarini lamented. This year’s contributions are the lowest since 2012, at a critical time for refugees doubly vulnerable to the pandemic.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, densely populated refugee camps & already vulnerable communities need more support than ever.
– UNRWA (@UNRWA) November 26, 2020
The majority of its workers are Palestinian refugees and the cuts will affect employees in Middle Eastern countries. UNRWA was established to help the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the conflict 1948 that ended with the creation of the State of Israel. Currently, it attends about 5.5 million Palestinian refugees not only in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza, but also in Jordan, Syria and the Lebanon through education, health care and food services.
Collapse in Gaza
UNRWA receives its funds through the contributions of the UN member states and the European Union. “With the low levels of contributions since 2012 and with the growing needs of refugees due to the impact of Covid-19, the risk for survivors of gender violence increases if their support is threatened & rdquor ;, Lazzarini has alarmed.
In addition, it has warned that the Health in Gaza is about to collapse due to the pandemic after publishing a report according to which one million Gazans are below the threshold of poverty on the fringe. This funding crisis has been exacerbated by the administration’s decision Trump of cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and the crisis of confidence after the accusations of abuse of authority to his former commissioner general.
The West Bank, in turn, enters a confinement of 48 hours to stop the increase in coronavirus cases with more than 91,000 contagions. Thus, the occupied Palestinian territory has received the prisoner Maher al Akras, who was released this Friday after having held a hunger strike for 103 days in protest at his administrative detention.
Most of our >28 k staff report debt just to finance housing+education. Deferring salaries will seriously affect their welfare & their extended families.
– Philippe Lazzarini (@UNLazzarini) November 23, 2020
This week the Israeli authorities have demolished a dozen residential structures throughout the West Bank area, leaving twenty people homeless, seven of them minors. In turn, they have announced the creation of 500 new homes for settlers in the East Jerusalem area in the controversial project of colonial expansion from Netanyahu before Trump’s departure from the White House.
The Palestinian community is not only oppressed in her own landBut now, with the UNRWA funding crisis, it is also witnessing its fall into oblivion by the international community.