UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Visits Syria

19 February 2009

19 February 2009

Damascus

UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi arrived in Syria on 18 February for a two-day visit that included high level meetings and visits.

Mr. Grandi met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Faisal Miqdad. Topics of mutual interest were the situation in Gaza and UNRWA‘s cooperation with the Syrian government in Syria.

He also gave an update to donors, UN agencies and other partners about UNRWA‘s work and operations in Gaza and about UNRWA‘s Organizational Development (OD) plan.

On 18 February, he attended a public speaking event by an Australian physically disabled athlete Kurt Fearnley organized by UNRWA in cooperation with AAMAL (Hopes) organization for people with disabilities.

Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid. UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA’s operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors.

For information only Not an official record

For further information please contact:
Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 0940888103
 
    

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.

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