UN / UNRWA FUNDING

25-Jul-2018 00:01:27
Following the United States decision to cut back its funding this year by US$300 million dollars, UNRWA, the UN agency tasked with providing life-saving support to Palestinian refugees, is facing the largest ever reduction in funding in its history which is threatening the very existence of many of its critical assistance programmes. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / UNRWA FUNDING
TRT: 01:27
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 JULY 2018, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

25 JULY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Stéphane Dujarric at the podium
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General:
“UNRWA said today that because emergency assistance is critically under-funded in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Agency has been forced to take mitigating measures. “
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General:
“As a result, in the West Bank, UNRWA will discontinue its Cash for Work activities effective July 31st. However, households assessed in the last two years as being abject poor, will be transitioned to the Social Safety Net Programme (SSNP), a core programme of the Agency, which UNRWA is determined to continue. This will ensure that the most impoverished refugees inside camps continue to receive assistance, and become eligible for other forms of support which are not available under Cash for Work.”
6. Wide shot, Dujarric at the podium
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General:
“UNRWA and its leadership is managing the situation as best at it can. You know, this is not just a problem with UNRWA. We’ve seen it with other humanitarian emergencies. You know, when the money runs out, hard decisions have to be made. When the money runs out, the money runs out, and that means aid stops from being distributed, mental health support, all these programmes which are often critical to populations in need.”
8. Wide shot, Dujarric walks away
STORYLINE
Following the United States decision to cut back its funding this year by US$300 million dollars, UNRWA, the UN agency tasked with providing life-saving support to Palestinian refugees, is facing the largest ever reduction in funding in its history which is threatening the very existence of many of its critical assistance programmes.

Speaking to reporters today (25 Jul), the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that because emergency assistance is critically under-funded in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Agency has been forced to take mitigating measures. “

As a result, he said, UNRWA will discontinue its Cash for Work activities in the West Bank, effective July 31st.

Dujarric said “households assessed in the last two years as being abject poor, will be transitioned to the Social Safety Net Programme (SSNP), a core programme of the Agency, which UNRWA is determined to continue.”

The Spokesperson said “UNRWA and its leadership is managing the situation as best at it can, but added that “when the money runs out, hard decisions have to be made. When the money runs out, the money runs out.”

Other programmes being cut or reduced include the Bedouin community's food assistance programme, which will continue operating until the end of 2018, the Community Mental Health Programme, which will be discontinued, after 31 August of this year, and mobile health clinics, which will be discontinued, effective 31 October.

To address the situation, the World Bank’s Board recommended on Wednesday that US$90 million be allocated to support economic recovery and job opportunities for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, representing a major increase from its yearly allocation of $55 million.

According to the World Bank, about 30 per cent of Palestinians overall are unemployed. The situation is even more dire in Gaza, where half of the population is jobless and where restrictions on trade and resources are leading to a continuing decline in productivity.
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