GENEVA (AFP) - The United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees appealed Friday for an extra $117m for its general fund this year due to rising food prices and increasing costs of living. "UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians) is facing a situation where rising food prices and the general cost of living are ... placing severe financial burden on the agency," said the agency's spokesman. In Gaza, where UNRWA provides emergency relief, its spokesman said only 52pc of its appeal had been funded. That left a shortfall of $115m. Here too, "soaring food, transport and fuel costs are also forcing us to reduce what we can give", he said. Highlighting the severity of the situation, he said the agency had to worry about running out of fuel due to the "haphazard" fuel supply situation, which had had a knock-on effect on the distribution of food supplies. The situation was bad fuel supply problem that the area was almost car-free. He added that what is "most heart-wrenching" is that the children attending school "is now reduced to who can still walk to school".