UNRWA celebrates resilience of West Bank Bedouin

03 December 2012

East Jerusalem

UNRWA today celebrated its efforts to protect West Bank Bedouin communities in Bethany, part of a project to meet the increasing needs of 20 marginalised Bedouin communities in the area around Jerusalem.

The communities, all living in areas near Jerusalem, face the threat of demolition and displacement. Through activities like media and first aid training, UNRWA has been working to help these Bedouin communities advocate for their rights and find ways to cope with a difficult situation. 

Intisar Mazara’ah, 27, is a Bedouin refugee woman who benefited from the initiative: “I am happy for participating in this initiative, the first of its kind in my area.

“This pioneering project helped me and other Bedouin women to find a space to meet and exchange experiences and knowledge through the provision of skills of communication, embroidery and first aid”.  

“This initiative not only assisted us, but it has also shed a light on our suffering”, said Hassan Mazara’ah on behalf of the Bedouin community in Jabal Al-Baba. “This initiative is the first step in supporting the people’s resilience and empowering women in our communities”.

“UNRWA’s partnership with Bedouin communities is very important, because it helps us to serve those communities better ”, said UNRWA’s David Hutton.  “We our proud of our efforts to protect and support these strong, resilient Bedouin communities”.

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:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724
Nader Dagher
Public Information Officer - West Bank Field Office
(+ 972) 54 168 719
(+ 972) 2 589 0598

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