UNRWA: We are facing a severe shortage of cash flow and the crisis will worsen if funding is not resumed

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said on Thursday that the agency will face a cash-flow crisis starting next month and that its financial problems will worsen in April unless some countries resume suspended funding.

Israel says that UNRWA, which has been helping the Palestinians for more than 70 years, is not fit to achieve the purpose of its existence. Major donors halted funding after 12 of thousands of Palestinian UNRWA staff were accused of involvement in an attack by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Israel that sparked the Gaza war.

“We will reach negative cash flow in March, which will accelerate in April if these contributions are not frozen,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told Irish broadcaster RTE ahead of a meeting with the country's foreign minister in Dublin.

The cash flow of any company or entity becomes negative when its expenses exceed its revenues, which undermines its ability to continue.

In the past few days, Lazzarini held extensive consultations with donors, including a tour of the Gulf countries and Brussels.

Some donors to UNRWA, such as the United States and Britain, have indicated that they will not resume support until an internal UN investigation into the allegations is completed. A preliminary report is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks.

“If we don't get (funding), we will be in trouble and the ability to operate will be at risk,” Lazzarini told RTE, calling on donors to reconsider their decision.

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Lazzarini said earlier this week that calls to remove the agency were short-sighted and that ending its work would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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