Palestinians receive their monthly food aid from a UN distribution centre in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, last year. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, said one of the Agency’s key priorities is to provide education and healthcare services for Palestine refugees in its five fields of operations.
Lazzarini sent a message of assurance to the Palestine refugee community, saying UNRWA has no intention to cut its services.
He added that the Agency has been mobilizing donors to increase funds so as to help UNRWA overcome its financial deficit and keep up its services for over 5.6 Palestine refugees.
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 is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 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.