UNRWA @ 60. Deputy Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi's address to Japan

02 December 2010

(2 December 2009)

Filippo Grandi, the Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) gave a video address to an event in Tokyo on 19 November to mark the 60 years that have passed since the Agency was founded.

Mr Grandi reminded about the severe funding shortfall that UNRWA suffers from at the moment. Although donor countries have maintained their contributions on the same level, the commitments of UNRWA have grown so fast that the Agency now is struggling to keep up its basic services.

Mr Grandi also explained about some of the biggest challenges that UNRWA is facing right now. The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate under the blockade of the coastal territory that has been going on since June 2007. Vast areas in the Gaza Strip are still in ruins after the war in December 2008 and January 2009 because no building material is allowed in through the border terminals.

In northern Lebanon UNRWA is embarking on one the biggest building projects in the Agency's history. The Nahr el-Bared refugee camp is being rebuilt after it was almost completely destroyed during the hostilities in the summer of 2007.