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UN Deputy Secretary-General visits Jordan, renews support for UNRWA
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, visited a number installations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Amman on 9 December. During her visit, she was accompanied by Acting UNRWA Commissioner-General Mr. Christian Saunders and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Mr. Mohammed Adar.
The Deputy Secretary-General received information about the Agency’s health programme and services to Palestine refugees during her visit to the Nuzha Health Centre in the north of Amman. Ms. Mohammed received a briefing about the UNRWA education programme and met with staff and Palestine refugee students at the Nuzha Elementary Girls’ School, where she also engaged with a group of students representing the school parliament from that area.
“The role that UNRWA plays in ensuring that the protection and human development of Palestine refugees is a constant priority is remarkable,” said Ms. Mohammed. Quality health and education are key to any individual and societal well-being, and that is what I saw today in UNRWA facilities: motivated staff and inspirational children that underscore that education remains a beacon of hope for Palestinian people.”
Acting UNRWA Commissioner-General Saunders expressed appreciation for the support that the Agency receives from the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General to its mandate towards Palestine refugees. “Today’s visit comes at a critical time when UNRWA is confronted with the worst financial crisis in its history. We know that we have an incredibly effective advocate in the Deputy Secretary-General and we highly value everything that Ms. Mohammed is doing to make sure that UNRWA receives the necessary funding so that our services to Palestine refugees continue uninterrupted,” he said.
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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