UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Visits Syria

19 February 2009

19 February 2009


UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi arrived in Syria on 18 February for a two-day visit that included high level meetings and visits.

Mr. Grandi met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Faisal Miqdad. Topics of mutual interest were the situation in Gaza and UNRWA‘s cooperation with the Syrian government in Syria.

He also gave an update to donors, UN agencies and other partners about UNRWA‘s work and operations in Gaza and about UNRWA‘s Organizational Development (OD) plan.

On 18 February, he attended a public speaking event by an Australian physically disabled athlete Kurt Fearnley organized by UNRWA in cooperation with AAMAL (Hopes) organization for people with disabilities.

Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid. UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA’s operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors.

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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