Statement by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA Filippo Grandi

16 February 2012

16 February 2012
Jerusalem

Filippo GrandiI was deeply saddened to learn the news of the tragic deaths of children and a number of adults in a road traffic accident today near Kalandia. Initial reports say a large number of people, including children, were also injured. There is nothing more appalling to us and our communities than the needless deaths and suffering of innocent children. My condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims at this terrible time.

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

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