UN Secretary-General calls on international community to support UNRWA

12 July 2012

10 July 2012
Vienna, Austria

Noting the impasse in the Middle East peace process, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the United Nations and the League of Arab States (LAS) must together “create the conditions for meaningful negotiations.”

“The Palestinian Authority needs the continuing support of the international community for its commendable state-building efforts, including financial help to ensure the payment of salaries and delivery of services to the population”, Mr. Ban said, adding that both organisations must also ensure that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) receives the funds it needs to provide its vital assistance.

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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 and deepening poverty. 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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