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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UNRWA Cries Wolf

An article you may have missed from the Canadian Free Press: Joseph Klein shows how UNRWA can resolve the 'Palestinian Authority's' financial crisis:

Nevertheless, even with her anti-Israel biases intact, Ms. AbuZayd has plenty of donor contributions at her own disposal to alleviate the immediate crisis. UNRWA’s regular annual budget for 2006 is approximately $489 million--about $90 million higher than the 2005 budget. To get an idea where this money would go, consider as a precedent UNRWA’s biennial program budget for 2004-2005. Seventy-one percent of that two-year budget was allotted to staffing. To make things worse, some of the $90 million dollar increase in the 2006 budget will be used for raises. Although it is true that these jobs do provide employment for approximately 23,000 local Palestinians, UNRWA has had a mixed track record in making sure that Hamas terrorists are not on its payrolls. And some of these jobs come at the sacrifice of many millions of dollars that could be put to use serving a far broader cross-section of the refugee population.

Moreover, the distribution of monies in the field appears to be off kilter. In the 2004-2005 budget, Jordan was to receive $150,698,000 while Syria was to receive $56,410,000. Taken together, these two countries--which should be perfectly capable of taking care of their own refugee populations--were to receive about the same as the Gaza Strip and nearly double the amount going to the West Bank!

One obvious solution to the present crisis for Ms. AbuZayd to ponder, even if she is not willing to press Hamas to turn away from its fanatical destructive bent for the benefit of the Palestinian people, is to cut the fat in her agency’s budget. This includes the elimination of all patronage jobs and unnecessary administrative overhead. Then she could use the monies saved to pay directly for the human necessities that she claims the refugees are not getting as a result of the cuts in direct aid by the U.S. and EU to the Hamas regime. Moreover, she should press to cut the subsidies to Jordan and Syria, using those monies where they are more desperately needed.

Read the whole thing.


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