UNRWA Commissioner-General pays farewell visit to Syria

27 September 2009

27 September 2009


UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen Koning AbuZayd, arrived in Syria today for her last official visit as head of the Agency.

During her three-day visit Ms. AbuZayd will hold meetings with high-ranking representatives of the government. Ms. AbuZayd will use this visit to thank the Syrian Government for the exemplary cooperation with UNRWA in providing the best services to Palestine refugees during her time as Commissioner-General.

Ms. AbuZayd starts her visit in Aleppo, where tomorrow, 28 September, she will inaugurate the completion of phase I of the Neirab Rehabilitation Project, the biggest and most ambitious shelter rehabilitation project undertaken by UNRWA in Syria.

On 29 September, Ms. AbuZayd will inaugurate facilities in Sbeineh Camp financed by donations from the governments of Germany and the United States.

In the afternoon, Ms. AbuZayd will travel to Yarmouk to take part in the opening of the 2009 Global Peace Games for Children and Youth.

Ms. AbuZayd has served as UNRWA’s Commissioner-General since June 2005 and was the Agency’s Deputy Commissioner-General from 2000 to 2005. She will step down at the end of 2009, but will continue her personal commitment with UNRWA’s mandate.

For information only Not an official record

For further information please contact:

Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 0940888103

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.

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