Note Attributable to the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly

10 March 2010

9 March 2010

United Nations, New York

The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Ali Abdussalam Treki, met with the newly appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Mr Filippo Grandi, to discuss the situation for Palestine refugees in the Middle East. The President thanked UNRWA for its vital support to nearly 4.7 million Palestine refugeess and congratulated Mr Grandi on his appointment.

The President noted that after more than 60 years the question of Palestine refugees was still awaiting a just and durable solution, based on United Nations resolutions. Mr Grandi expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip where UNRWA continues to provide health and educational services to refugees. Mr Grandi emphasised that UNRWA was a voluntarily-funded Agency whose needs grew steadily each year. He stressed the importance of providing UNRWA with the necessary financial and human resources to fulfil its mandate.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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