UNRWA Staff Union Strike in West Bank Ends
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, wishes to announce that the UNRWA staff strike in the West Bank has ended. Following President Abbas' firm request for the strike to be concluded, and the effective mediation of Prime Minister Hamdallah and his government, a framework document was signed tonight between the Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, and the representative of the Area Staff Union, Shaker Risheg. It will form the basis for constructive discussions and mutually agreed implementation of measures to improve the conditions of service of staff, and the quality of services to refugees.
UNRWA is looking forward to the immediate resumption of all services provided by the Agency in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as the strike - which lasted for over two months - has inflicted enough suffering on an already disadvantaged population, something which UNRWA deeply regrets.
The Commissioner-General and the Director of Operations would like to take this opportunity to express UNRWA's gratitude to President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Minister of Labour Ahmed Majdalani, the PLO Department of Refugee Affairs and the Camp Services Committees, and all those who contributed to finding a solution to this difficult situation.
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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