Beirut (Lebanon), June 16: Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) urged on Wednesday countries to increase financial contributions as the agency suffers from a 100-million-U.S.-dollar funding gap, Lebanon's National News Agency reported.
Philippe Lazzarini said at a press conference held on the occasion of UNRWA's Advisory Commission meeting in Beirut that "We are facing a major financial crisis which reduced our ability to deal with the Palestinian refugees' crisis."
Lazzarini noted that Palestinian refugees are going through a painful period in light of the agency's huge financial gap, stressing that Palestinian refugees are the most vulnerable communities in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
He added that 80 percent of Palestinian families live below the poverty line and 80 percent of the children suffer from malnutrition.
He also noted that the United Nations General Assembly will host a pledging conference for UNRWA on June 23 in New York.
The UNRWA was established in 1949 as a United Nations agency by a resolution of the General Assembly to provide assistance and protection to approximately 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with it in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
As one of the oldest humanitarian projects the United Nations had initiated, the agency has spent decades helping the displaced Palestinians.