The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the special U.N. agency that deals specifically with so-called Palestinian “refugees,” appealed to the world Friday for a massive budget boost.
Christian Saunders, the acting chief said the U.N. has backed the $1.4 billion call, claiming the pledges of support UNRWA received at the U.N. General Assembly in December was “an overwhelming validation of the agency and of our mandate.”
The funds are destined to support the agency for the next 12 months.
Today UNRWA called for US$ 1.4 billion to fund the Agency’s essential services and assistance, including life-saving humanitarian aid and priority projects, for 5.6 million registered Palestine refugees across the Middle East for the year 2020. Read more: https://t.co/YKKqZJpsgH pic.twitter.com/t0tjA5Sc1b
— UNRWA (@UNRWA) January 31, 2020
The appeal comes just months after UNRWA’s leadership was called to account in an internal United Nations ethics report alleging corruption, sexual misconduct and mismanagement at the highest levels.
Senior officials at UNRWA, which faces an ongoing financial crisis after President Donald Trump’s decision to cut the U.S.’s $360 million contribution in 2018, were charged with “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives,” according to the report, which was obtained by AFP.
Late on Christmas Eve all the charges against UNRWA were spectacularly dismissed after a U.N. internal probe cleared itself of any and all allegations relating to “fraud, misappropriation of funds, systemic corruption, gross nepotism, and sexual misconduct.”
For its part, UNRWA said the allegations were baseless and part of an Israeli conspiracy, as Breitbart News reported.
UNRWA provides schooling, medical care and other services to millions of Palestinians deemed by the U.N. to be “refugees,” as well as to their descendants in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza.
UNRWA employs around 30,000 people, mostly Palestinians.
The definition of a Palestinian “refugee” and their actual numbers have long been the subject of debate.
UNRWA has also come under fire on many occasions both for spreading antisemitic hate in its schools and employing members of terror organizations and supporters of terror. Breitbart News previously exposed an UNRWA summer program that was indoctrinating Palestinian children to hate Jews.
In 2018 U.N. Watch released a 130-page report exposing 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and elsewhere who engaged in incitement to terror against Israelis and expressed “anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
That month, the agency also announced the suspension of an UNRWA employee suspected of having been elected a Hamas leader.