UNRWA Commissioner-General visits Ankara

24 April 2012

24 April 2012

UNRWA Commissioner-General Mr. Filippo Grandi has arrived in Ankara on 24 April for a two-day visit. While there, Mr. Grandi will meet senior officials from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Turkish Parliament, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and Turkish Red Crescent.

Prior to departure, Mr. Grandi said: "At this time of change in the region, nobody should forget the unaddressed issue of Palestine refugees. It is vital that the issue is not sidelined. Turkey has remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people. The aim of my visit is to develop the existing co-operation between Turkey and our Agency for the benefit of the nearly five million refugees we serve. That means working together to ease the suffering of Palestinians, especially in Gaza where we are struggling to sustain our food programmes and keep our schools and health centres going."

Turkey has already pledged USD 1.25 million for UNRWA operations in 2012. UNRWA also works in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkish NGOs for the benefit of Palestine refugees.

Background information:

UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for almost five million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by contributions from UN member states.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

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, deepening poverty and conflict. 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.

For more information, please contact: