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UN Palestinian agency turns to Gulf countries to avoid funding crisis

By AFP - May 03,2016 - Last updated at May 03,2016

In this April 16, photo, Palestinian children fill plastic gallons with drinking water from a vendor in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. Poor sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited freshwater supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is now floating northward and affecting Israel as well, where a nearby desalination plant was forced to shut down, apparently due to pollution (AP photo)

UNITED NATIONS — The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency on Tuesday urged Gulf countries to donate millions to help UNRWA avoid a funding crisis.

Last year, the agency was hit by a major funding crisis that threatened to affect the opening of schools.

An appeal by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to donors helped resolve the crisis, but the agency still has a funding gap of some $80 million.

"We'd be very appreciative to have countries that have come forward last summer to help, and in particular three Gulf states — Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait — renew their generosity this year," said Pierre Krahenbul, UNRWA's commissioner general.

"If we could have that, we'd be able to avoid another crisis this summer," he said.


Established in 1950, UNRWA helps some five million Palestinians living in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories. 

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