Statement on hunger strike

10 May 2012

11 May 2012
Jerusalem

The Commissioner General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, is following with increasing concern the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody, in particular, those held as administrative detainees. He echoes the calls of the Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, and Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, to reach a solution without delay.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall,  projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 74 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance .

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