Statement by UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness

17 January 2011

17 January 2011

Barbara ShenstoneThe Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, John Ging, and Barbara Shenstone, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, are to leave the Agency. John Ging is to take up a senior position in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York and Ms Shenstone is to return to her native Canada. Mr Ging has served UNRWA for nearly five years, Ms Shenstone for nearly four.

 

John GingMaking the announcement to UNRWA staff, Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “Barbara and John have made exceptional contributions to UNRWA’s work under the most difficult circumstances: their commitment to ensuring the quality of UNRWA services has been extraordinary; their advocacy in support of rights has been outstanding – be it amidst heavy bombardment in Gaza during armed conflict or in responding to the abysmal rights abuses in the occupied West Bank. I salute the courage, strength and determination of their innovative leadership. I – and all of us – will miss them both as colleagues and for their extraordinary contributions to UNRWA and the refugees we serve.”

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For more information please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Orange: +972 (0) 54 240 2659
Jawwal: +972 (0) 588 942 8034
Office: +972 (0) 2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

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$ 74 million. 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:

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