Statement by UNRWA on Holocaust Education

04 September 2009

4 September 2009

The quotes attributed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to UNRWA‘s Commissioner General, Karen AbuZayd and UNRWA‘s Gaza Director, John Ging are false. We condemn Holocaust denial in all its forms and we reject the politicization of the Holocaust. UNRWA will remain focused on positive curriculum development in teaching children the human rights values enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

UNRWA is committed to human rights education. UNRWA rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event.

UNRWA implements a human rights, conflict resolution and tolerance programme in its schools in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, UNRWA is strengthening this programme by developing a dedicated human rights curriculum anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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.

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