Meshaa: An unprecedented liquidity crisis facing UNRWA as a result of a financial deficit of $ 115 million

Sami Masha, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said today, Tuesday, that it is facing an unprecedented liquidity crisis due to the financial deficit that amounted to 115 million dollars in its budget until the end of this year.

Mushasha said that the agency’s failure to have cash in banks threatens its inability to pay its employees full salaries for the current month for the first time in many years.

He added, "The shuttle visits conducted by UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philip Lazzarini, have not yet yielded any serious results regarding the presentation of new financial pledges to the agency."

He explained that UNRWA "faces a deficit of 115 million dollars until the end of this year, of which 70 million are the salaries of its 28,000 employees and some direct commitments of emergency priority."

Mushasha warned that UNRWA's need to reduce the salaries of its employees will have negative repercussions on the levels of services provided to Palestinian refugees in its five areas of operations.

He pointed out that an important meeting will be held by the UNRWA Advisory Committee with the Agency's management via the Internet on the 21st of this month to discuss the implications of the financial crisis and ways to overcome the scarcity of resources provided to the Agency.

He added that the aforementioned meeting will also discuss the budget for next year for UNRWA and prepare for an international conference to be held by the agency early next year in an effort to create permanent financial stability for its budget to enable it to fulfill its obligations.

According to UNRWA officials, it faces a "most serious financial crisis" in its history due to the severe shortage of donations to it, especially after the American decision to cut $ 360 million from the agency at the beginning of 2018, which was 30 percent of its budget, which depends entirely on donations.


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