New Director for UNRWA Syria

01 October 2009

01 October 2009


Mr. Roger Hearn, an Australian national, today assumed his duties as Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. Hearn rejoins UNRWA after having served as Senior External Relations Officer at the Agency’s Headquarters in Gaza from 2002 to 2004.

Prior to his current appointment, Hearn was based in Cairo with CARE International as its Regional Director, Middle East and Europe. Mr. Hearn has also served senior leadership positions in policy development and planning with the UN in Timor-Leste (UNTAET), Oxfam International, the World Health Organization and the Victorian Parliament.

Mr. Hearn holds a bachelor‘s degree in Social Work, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Administration, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

UNRWA provides education, healthcare, social services, shelter, and micro-credit services to over 450,000 Palestine refugees in Syria.

For further information please contact:

Hala Mukhles - UNRWA Public Information Office in Syria
Tel: 0940888103

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:

Gaza Emergency Donate Message 3