UNRWA’s statement on tagline

24 July 2011

24 July 2011

Over recent weeks, UNRWA has observed with concern the reactions from refugee communities, host authorities and others to the tagline “The UN Agency for Palestine Refugees”.

This tagline was introduced as one of several initiatives aiming to provide a platform for engaging new potential donors and the general public in donor countries who are not familiar with UNRWA and its work. There was no change in the Agency‘s name or the nature of its mission. Despite our efforts to explain this, strong, public reactions continued, distracting from the Agency’s ability to focus on daily operational challenges.

Having carefully weighed available options and consulted with stakeholders, it has been decided that “The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” will be the only words to appear in UNRWA’s logo. This decision will be reflected on the website as soon as technicians can redesign it accordingly.

The well-being of Palestine refugees is the reason for UNRWA’s existence and remains the driving force behind everything the Agency does, including our efforts to project UNRWA as a modern, forward-looking, and vibrant Agency. These efforts will continue in the hope that they will contribute to enhancing the resources needed to make our operations more sustainable.

UNRWA will remain receptive to the views and concerns of the refugees it serves. We will continue to be steadfast in the discharge of our mandate until a just and lasting solution is found to the plight of Palestine refugees.

Background Information

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

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 69 million.

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