Damascus, 18 February 2010
Newly appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Mr Filippo Grandi, will visit Syria from 21 to 23 February. He will be accompanied by Ms Margot Ellis, the new Deputy Commissioner-General.
With over 21 years of experience with the United Nations, most recently as Deputy Commissioner-General, Mr Grandi brings considerable experience to his role, as well as a determination to establish the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees. Ms Ellis spent time in high-level positions in the private sector before working for more than 20 years in a range of senior field roles at USAID.
Mr Grandi's first visit to Syria as Commissioner-General will see him spend three days in Damascus. He will engage in dialogue with UNRWA's partners - meeting with Palestine refugees, UN sister organisations and high-level Syrian government officials.
Mr Grandi will meet with the diplomatic community to provide an overview of the Agency’s operational and financial challenges in the region, and brief them on UNRWA Syria’s new initiative in youth programming. He will also visit UNRWA projects and meet with UNRWA staff in Syria.
UNRWA is a humanitarian and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services, micro-credit and emergency relief to over 4.7 million registered refugees living in the five fields of operation: Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to almost 470,000 refugees.
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