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 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$ 81 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 .

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