UNRWA Commissioner-General Joins Minister of Women's Affairs to Combat Violence Against Women

14 December 2009

11 December

Ramallah, West Bank

CG and Minister

Yesterday in the Ramallah Womens’ Training Centre, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) concluded its two-week campaign to end violence against women. In attendance were Ms. Karen Abu Zayd, the Agency’s outgoing Commissioner-General, Barbara Shenstone, Director of UNRWA’s operations in the West Bank, and Her Excellency the Minister of Women’s Affairs Mrs. Rabiha Diab, as well as a diverse audience of activists, officials and students of UNRWA schools and training centres.

The ceremony opened with the Palestinian national anthem and a speech by Ms Abu Zayd focusing on the morale of Palestinian women, and the Agency’s efforts to combat gender-based violence in an environment where human rights violations are common. A speech by Diab focused on the role of women in government, and the preservation of women’s rights though Palestinian legislation and decision-making.

Light entertainment was also on hand courtesy of students from UNRWA schools, who performed with music and song. Posters and banners calling for an end to gender-based violence were also festooned around the event, which ended with the presentation of a film designed to provoke discussion.

UNRWA organized a campaign against violence against women from the November 25th 2009 until December 11th 2009, to coincide with an international campaign on the issue. Yesterday’s event marked the final day of that campaign.

For further information, please contact:

Public Information Office
UNRWA West Bank Field Office
Tel: +972 2 589 0409

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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.

For more information, please contact:

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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