New Director, Mohammed Abdi Adar, Joins UNRWA in Syria

17 February 2017
© 2017 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad

Mohammed Abdi Adar, a Somali national, assumed his duties as Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Syrian Arab Republic on 1 February 2017.

Mr. Abdi Adar’s wealth of experience from diverse humanitarian and emergency operations, including with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization, will prove invaluable to the Agency’s operations for Palestine refugees in Syria.

Most recently, as UNHCR Representative in Sudan and Uganda, Mr. Abdi Adar managed complex operations through his leadership, teamwork and technical knowledge of refugee-related programming.

“It is an important opportunity to serve Palestine refugees in Syria,” said Mr. Abdi Adar. “I look forward to working with the Syrian Government and other partners to help alleviate the suffering of Palestine refugees, whom like the Syrians have experienced the dire consequences of the crisis over the last six years.”

With over 40 years of experience working in the development and humanitarian sectors, Mr. Abdi Adar is known for his effective negotiation skills and ability to create partnerships. He has served in over eight countries: Somalia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, Switzerland, Iraq, Uganda and now Syria.

Mr. Abdi Adar holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the National University in Somalia and a Master's in Political Science from the University of Peshawar in Pakistan.

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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.