UNRWA, the United Nations organization for Palestinian refugees, made a $1.6 billion financial plea on Tuesday to assist it to overcome “chronic” budget difficulties.
The plea is the latest in a series of UNRWA warnings about the possibility of severe cutbacks if the international community fails to offer further assistance.
“Chronic agency financial deficiencies jeopardize the lives and well-being of Palestine refugees served by UNRWA and jeopardize the organization’s capacity to continue operations,” agency chief Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.
UNRWA’s funding was slashed in 2018 by former US President Donald Trump.
His government dubbed UNRWA “irredeemably defective,” aligning with Israeli complaints of the organization formed a year after Israel’s establishment.
The government of Vice President Joe Biden has restored some assistance, although UNRWA has said that it is still suffering.
It warned in November that it faced an “existential danger” as a result of budget deficits.
The organization employs 28,000 people and offers educational and health care services to more than five million Palestinians enrolled in the Palestinian territories, which include Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.