UNRWA chief says close to covering 85 pct of shortfall after U.S. funding cut

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-28 04:56:08|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said Thursday that it was close to covering 85 percent of the shortfall it had this year due to the funding cut by the United States.

"I think that's a remarkable result. And the entire international community joined us in the effort to overcome that, so we were not giving in to any pressure," Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said at a press conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

"When you lose 300 million U.S. dollars of income, you're going to face a crisis," he said, noting that "a loss of income on certain scale forces you to take decisions and to set priorities."

"Our first priority was to mobilize the funding from other donors," he said.

"We're not giving in or reducing the energy on the intensity that we show in covering the needs of Palestine refugees," he added.

Krahenbuhl apologized for laying off 118 UNRWA staff due to stringent budget, noting that he was fully aware that finding a job was hard in Gaza.

However, he said he felt proud that he had managed to protect the food distributions for a million people in the Gaza Strip.

The U.S. State Department announced on Aug. 31 that the United States would not provide assistance funding any more for UNRWA.