UNRWA Statement on Qalqilya Hospital
UNRWA regrets the recourse by certain groups and institutions to personal attacks and unfounded allegations in expressing opposition to the Agency's decision to suspend certain medical services at Qalqilya Hospital until the Agency completes its investigation into the death of a patient and related appraisal of the hospital operations and performance.
The decision to halt the intake of new patients for certain treatments at Qalqilia hospital is an Agency decision and personal attacks against the Agency's West Bank Director of Operations and other staff are totally unacceptable. Uninterrupted access for Palestine refugees to UNRWA services, the continuity of these services and the safety and security of UNRWA staff are paramount.
UNRWA views with deep concern the irresponsible reference to "genocide" in describing actions taken to improve and strengthen services to Palestine refugees.
The Agency remains committed to delivering health and other services to Palestine refugees, in accordance with its mandate. Despite very challenging financial conditions UNRWA continues rendering effective and essential services to millions of Palestine refugees, including those residing in Qalqilya.
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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