UNRWA forced to suspend operations in Jenin

12 August 2011

UNRWA regrets to announce that it has been forced to suspend services in Jenin city and Jenin camp as of today, 12 August 2011, until further notice. The forced suspension includes relief and social services, job creation programme and camp services offices.

This regrettable move comes in response to recent and ongoing threats to the personal safety, security and well-being of UNRWA employees in that area. UNRWA’s main objective is to serve the refugee population with high-quality services. This objective cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of violence and intimidation and where our staff and premises are not safe.

UNRWA remains committed to fulfilling its mandated responsibilities, working with all interested parties, officials and civil society to resolve this issue in a timely fashion and in a way that best serves the interests of the refugee population. We call on the relevant Palestinian authorities to ensure the safety and security of all UNRWA personnel and installations so that we can resume our full services at the earliest possible time.

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 more than US$ 106  million.

For more information, please contact:

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

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