Dignity Is Priceless: UNRWA employees in Gaza protest US aids cut


Published: 2018-01-29 19:25

Last Updated: 2018-01-30 09:59

Protesters are in fear and concerned over their future. (AFP)
Protesters are in fear and concerned over their future. (AFP)
Roya News Source

Thousands of employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) went to Gaza streets to protest over US decision to cut its annual contribution to the agency.

Schools, clinics and food distribution centres in the Strip were closed on Monday as part of one-day strike by the 13,000 employees of the United Nations agency that serves the Palestinians, Reuters reported.

Protesters said that this cut will negatively impact the Strip and worsen people’s living conditions.

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said the agency, which has launched an international appeal for funds, had enough money for three months of operations.

“We appreciate the fear and concern of employees for their jobs and for possible cuts in services,” he said.

Protesters demonstrated in front of the UN headquarters in Gaza City waving Palestinian flags and carrying banners that read “Dignity is priceless”, the name of the global fundraising campaign launched by the agency.

Through ‘Dignity Is Priceless’ campaign, UNRWA aims to raise $500 million funds to aid the agency in its hardship.

As the UNRWA is funded mainly by voluntary contributions from UN member states, the US is considered the largest donor.

In mid-January, Washington announced it will pay $65 million to the agency, which is more than half of its planned contribution this year. It demanded that the agency make unspecified reforms.

UNRAW's Jordan offices announced the cut of 100 jobs following the cut, in an initial procedure to terminate expenditures and services provided to the Palestinian refugees.

This comes after the US President earlier threats to cut US aid to the agency in December.

Read More: UNRWA responds to Netanyahu: will continue operating until refugees issue solved 

UNRWA is the United Nations agency established in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees.

Its main mission is to help the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential.

UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.