UNRWA plants olive tree for Turkish ambassador to UN

02 July 2012

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, presents the Turkish Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, H.E. Mr Ertuğrul Apakan, with a plaque as an expression of UNRWA‘s gratitude in recognition of his strong support for UNRWA and Palestine refugees.

The plaque represents an olive tree which has been planted in the West Bank in honour of Ambassador Apakan. Ambassador Apakan has been the Chair of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA for the past three years.

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:

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