>> It was back to school for these students in Lebanon on Monday, but the new academic year could be over in just one month. That's because they're Palestinian refugees. And last week the US announced it was withholding all funding to the UN agency that runs their school.>> We open schools on time because this protects the essential right of education for Palestinian refugees.
Because the hosting countries have repeatedly addressed the grave risks on regional stability if we don't open schools. We're not yet out of danger, and the financing we have is currently only enough until the end of September.>> And it's not just Lebanon. Classes for refugees also recently resumed in Jordan, Gaza, and the occupied West bank.
But their future education has been put in doubt by a cut off in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The US State Department last week criticized the agency's, quote, endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries, which it called unsustainable. On Monday, the head of the UNRWA said the 5.4 million refugees it provides services to have rights under international law and cannot be simply wished away.
The agency is now asking existing donors for more money and seeking new sources of income to fill a hole of more than $200 million.