UNRWA installations in Gaza hit during hostilities

13 May 2021

On 11 and 12 May 2021 at least four United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) buildings were hit within the context of military operations on Gaza, causing extensive damage, especially to the Agency’s Headquarters there. It is unclear whether the UNRWA buildings were hit directly or whether the strikes were so close that the buildings were impacted. All staff are reported to be safe and well.

Pursuant to international law, including the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, UNRWA premises, property and assets are inviolable. All UNRWA facilities are clearly marked with a UN flag. 


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 5.7 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.