UNRWA Welcomes Retraction of Damaging Articles

02 April 2009

2 April 2009

East Jerusalem

The Toronto Globe and Mail and the Australian Newspaper have published retractions and corrections to articles in which they accused UNRWA officials of publishing inaccurate information about Israeli attacks around the UN school in Jabalia during the recent war in Gaza. In its clarification, the Toronto Globe and Mail admitted that "John Ging, the Director of operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza was mistakenly quoted in a January 29 news story". The paper made clear that "in fact, Mr Ging was referring to a different attack, at Asma, Gaza, on the same day as the jabalia attack", in which three people were killed inside the UNRWA school compound. The articles claimed that UNRWA had not only published incorrect data, but that its officials had spread allegations against Israel based on this information. These misleading articles were quoted in subsequent media reports. UNRWA welcomes the retractions, but regrets the damaging impression left by the original articles. The Agency stands by the information it made public during the fighting in Gaza in December and January.

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For more information please contact:

Christopher Gunness,
UNRWA Spokesperson.
Orange: +972-(0)54-240-2659
Office: +972(0)2-589-0267
[email protected]

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:

UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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