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UNRWA marks anti-corruption day with renewed commitment to fight fraud and corruption
To mark International Anti-Corruption Day, UNRWA issued today a new Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy, consolidating the Agency’s approach and commitment to preventing, detecting, deterring and effectively responding to fraud and corruption. In doing so, UNRWA joins a growing number of governments, businesses, international and non-governmental agencies, media organizations and citizens around the world in stepping up efforts to fight corruption. The measure, procedures and obligations set out in the policy reflect existing obligations under the Agency’s regulatory framework and also reflect the underlying principles of the United Nations Charter and the UN Convention against Corruption.
Commenting on the new policy, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell said: “We want to send a clear message that fraud and corruption are not tolerated at UNRWA, and that while many existing measures and obligations are in place, a dedicated policy to combat fraud and corruption makes this commitment clear to everyone, including our personnel, suppliers and external stakeholders.”
“Serving Palestine refugee forms the core of our mandate, and we will take all steps necessary to ensure that our services are free of fraud and corruption,” she added.
The Policy reaffirms the Agency’s long-standing zero-tolerance for all forms of fraud and corruption. It includes clear definitions of actions prohibited under the policy; spells out the roles and responsibilities of UNRWA personnel; provides an Agency-wide policy framework to prevent, detect and deter fraud and corruption; and sets out procedures for reporting, investigating and taking action in response to allegations of fraud and corruption.
The policy, effective immediately, applies to all Agency operations and activities, as well as to all UNRWA personnel, beneficiaries, governmental and non-governmental partners, and suppliers. Violations of the policy may warrant the imposition of disciplinary or other measures under the Agency’s regulatory framework, including suspension or debarment of suppliers.
The United Nations designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the UN Convention against Corruption, which entered into force in December 2005. For more information on the 2015 Theme for International Anti-Corruption Day, ‘Break the Corruption Chain’, please visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/anticorruptionday
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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