The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
We regret the United States’ decision to provide no further funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides essential services to Palestine refugees and contributes to stability in the region. The United States has traditionally been the largest single contributor to UNRWA. We appreciate its support over the years.
UNRWA enjoys the full confidence of the Secretary-General. Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl has led a rapid, innovative and tireless effort to overcome the unexpected financial crisis UNRWA has faced this year. It has expanded the donor base, raised considerable new funding, and explored new avenues of support. In addition, UNRWA took extraordinary internal management measures to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
UNRWA has a strong record of providing high-quality education, health and other essential services, often in extremely difficult circumstances, to Palestine refugees who are in great need. The Secretary-General calls on other countries to help fill the remaining financial gap, so that UNRWA can continue to provide this vital assistance, as well as a sense of hope this vulnerable population.