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Situation in Gaza: Statement attributable to the UNRWA Spokesperson
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is deeply concerned by the events in Gaza over the last two days. Yesterday, five Palestine refugees were killed in Jabalia camp including two children who attended UNRWA schools.
The Agency expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those affected by the most recent escalation of hostilities.
UNRWA essential personnel are working around the clock to monitor the situation and ensure critical service delivery. Reduced electricity and fuel shortages are cause for grave concern, particularly for the continued operation of hospitals and medical facilities and water desalination. People in Gaza have received an average of four hours of electricity per day in the past two days.
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 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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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