UN agency for Palestinian refugees has urgent budget crisis

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees says that his organization is facing an “existential” budget crisis and appealing for urgent funding of $120 million to keep essential education, healthcare and other services running. Philippe Lazzarini was speaking Friday when he said it wasn’t clear for agency officials if they would be able to keep up their “activities in November and December.” There are now 5.7 million Palestinian refugees, including their children and grandchildren, but Lazzarini said UNRWA only helps the 550,000 in school and 2.8 million who have health benefits. Lazzarini said funding has also fallen as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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