UNRWA statement on Syria

09 June 2011

9 June 2011

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, is deeply distressed that Palestine refugees in Syria have lost their lives and been injured in recent events, including in Yarmouk, which is home to a third of the Palestine refugee community in Syria. UNRWA extends condolences to the families of all victims and strongly appeals for calm and restraint on all sides.
UNRWA calls on all concerned to preserve the sanctity of human life as required by international law, to protect the safety and dignity of all, and to ensure that any further loss of civilian lives is avoided.
These and other recent, tragic events are a reminder that Palestine refugees remain vulnerable and exposed to risks throughout the region. As the Commissioner-General has reiterated many times recently, they also highlight the need for the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve for the refugees a just and lasting solution based on UN resolutions and international law.

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For more information please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
[email protected]

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
[email protected]

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.