UNRWA deplores deaths of Palestine refugees - Commissioner-General's statement

16 May 2011

 

Filippo GrandiI deplore the deaths of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, the occupied Golan Heights and the occupied Palestinian territory.

As Commissioner-General of UNRWA, I continue to follow the situation confronting the population we serve with concern and I echo the call on all parties to show restraint and ensure that civilians are not killed or injured.

These sad events demonstrate once more the vulnerability of the Palestine refugees we serve.

They underline the need for a just and durable solution, based on UN resolutions, to resolve the plight of those who have endured statelessness, exile and dispossession for 63 years.

At a time of profound and far-reaching change in the region, I urge the parties to address what the Secretary-General has called the “unsustainable status quo in the Arab-Israeli conflict” including the fate of the refugees.

I fear that failure to do so will only lead to more instability and further loss of life.

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$ 96.5 million. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. 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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724