UN Palestinian refugee agency to suspend some Gaza operations amid funding shortfall

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees will suspend some of its Gaza operations due to a major funding shortfall, an official said Tuesday. The agency was thrown into severe financial crisis after the US cut $250 million from its budget. UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov told a Security Council meeting that UNRWA is “weeks away from painful cuts to its emergency assistance for Gaza and elsewhere in the region,” AFP said. “In Gaza, this would include a deferral of salaries to some of its workforce in July and the start of suspending core operations in August,” he added. The UN on Monday will host a pledging conference for UNRWA in New York - the second such donors’ meeting in three months. In March, it raised $100 million during a conference in Rome but fell short of the $446 million needed to keep the agency afloat. UNRWA provides schools and health clinics to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.