UNRWA congratulates former Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi on nomination as the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees

12 November 2015
Former UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi. © 2012 UNRWA Photo
Statement by UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness

We are delighted by the appointment of Filippo Grandi as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It is great news for refugees worldwide. UNRWA colleagues wish Filippo and UNHCR every success.

It is also great news for Palestine refugees to have someone in this position who understands their plight so well. Filippo’s legacy at UNRWA lives on. We are now stronger than we have been in many years as we continue to make the Agency even more effective in serving and advocating for this increasingly marginalized population.

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 5.4 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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