UNRWA Commissioner-General Visits Syria

23 April 2009

UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd will be visiting Syria on 25-29 April and will hold meetings with senior Syrian Government officials to brief them on the latest developments taking place in UNRWA.

Ms. AbuZayd will take this opportunity to express the Agency‘s appreciation for the Syrian Government‘s support and the Syrian people solidarity for the Gaza Campaign launched by UNRWA early January 2009.

On 26 April, AbuZayd will join the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Theodoros Kassimis, in laying the foundation stone of a new school in Husseinieh, Damascus. She will also award certificates to staff members and beneficiaries of the Agency‘s Microfinance and Microcredit Department.

AbuZayd will address media representatives on the amount collected so far by UNRWA and the Syrian Government in support of the people in Gaza.

Afterwards she will inaugurate the European Commission-funded girls‘ dormitory at UNRWA‘s Damascus Training Centre, as part of the Centre’s Open Day activities. In the evening, Ms AbuZayd will attend a musical performance by UNRWA Nimreen Orchestra and al-Farah Choir at al-Hamra Theater in support of “For the Children of Gaza” Campaign.

Before returning to Amman on April 29, AbuZayd will inaugurate two milestone projects of the Agency in Syria, a health centre in Khan Eshieh Camp, built with funds from the US Government and the completion of the sewage project in Khan Dannoun Camp, funded by the European Commission. Later on the day, she will participate in the launch of the Musicanto Project at Nimreen Music Centre in Yarmouk, organized by the Agency in coordination with the Italian Cooperation Office.

For information only .  Not an official record.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Hala Mukhles
Public Information Officer - Syria Field Office
+ 963 (0) 940 88103
+ 963 (0) 940 88103