Indian Representative Visits Palestine Refugee Camps

26 February 2014
Indian Representative Visits Palestine Refugee CampsIndian Representative Visits Palestine Refugee Camps]

West Bank

On 26 February 2014, the Representative of India to Palestine, H.E B.S. Mubarak, along with his assistant, Mohammed E. Abu-Shamsieh, joined David Hutton, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Deputy Director of Operations for the West Bank, and an UNRWA delegation for a tour of the Shu’fat and Aqbat Jabr Palestine refugee camps.

The Representative showed keen interest in learning more about Palestine refugees and the hardships of life in a camp. In Aqbat Jabr, near Jericho, where he observed the distribution of  food parcels, Mr. Mubarak was briefed on the camp’s history, its challenges and UNRWA services in the camp.

The delegation then visited Shu’fat camp, in Jerualem, Mr. Mubarak visited the camp health centre. UNRWA Jerusalem Area Officer Yousef Hushiyeh explained the complicated situation of Shu’fat camp to the guests, emphasizing the high rate of unemployment among the refugees, even though some of them have access to the city of Jerusalem.

Mr. Mubarak expressed his profound anxiety about the situation of the camp and the difficulties children go through living in a crowded, polluted and unhealthy environment that lacks green areas and fresh air. He said, “All Palestinian refugees should live in dignity,” adding, “It’s unacceptable that a child refugee grows here, finishes his higher studies outside, only to come back to the camp and continue living in this precarious place.”

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.

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