UNRWA educates Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank (Photo: UNRWA)
UNRWA has sacked 17 teachers from its schools in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon for the academic year 2019/2020.
UNRWA claimed that the teachers were surplus to necessity. However, the human rights group, Shahed, said that the UN agency has recently taken drastic measures, due to its budget deficit.
The rights group said that the UNRWA increased the number of classes each teacher has to cover and the number of students in them to over 50. It also forced teachers to teach subjects which were not their areas of expertise or qualification.
UNRWA has faced a budget deficit since 2018 when the US State Department said Washington would “no longer commit funding” it.
The US had been UNRWA’s largest contributor by far, providing it with $350 million annually — roughly a quarter of the agency’s overall budget.
UNRWA was established in December 1949 per UN General Assembly Resolution 302. It began its operations in the aid of nearly one million Palestinian refugees on May 1, 1950. Since then, its responsibility has grown to cover the needs of over 5 million Palestinian refugees scattered across Palestine and the Middle East.