19 UNRWA Staff Members Killed in Syria, Says Acting Commissioner-General

19 UNRWA Staff Members Killed in Syria, Says Acting Commissioner-General

The Asdood/Jaleel UNRWA school in Yarmouk. The Agency has 16 school building in Yarmouk, and almost all will need to be completely rebuilt © 2018 UNRWA

To date, 19 UNRWA staff members have perished as a result of the Syrian conflict and several others are missing and/or detained, said Acting Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Christian Saunders.

In an annual report read out before the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee earlier this month, Saunders said the bloody conflict in Syria claimed the lives of 19 UNRWA employees.

In earlier reports, UNRWA said staff members were killed as a result of shelling, sniper attacks, bullet fire, abduction, or blasts across the war-ravaged Syrian territories.

UNRWA has 4,000 staff working in Syria. The Agency relies on its staff to run its core education, health and relief services in addition to providing humanitarian support to 450,000 Palestine refugees in the war-torn country.

UNRWA premises have sustained heavy damage in Syria, following violent onslaughts launched on the Palestinian refugee camps and communities of Yarmouk, Daraa, Khan Eshieh, Handarat, and AlMuzeireeb.

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.

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