UNRWA : Towards Financial Collapse
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently announced that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is “on the verge of financial collapse,”
- United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a UN agency that supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.
- It was established in 1949 when nearly three-quarters of a million Palestinians became refugees in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab- Israeli war.
- It is To support Palestinian refugees and their patrilineal descendants who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine War and 1967 Six-Day War.
- UNRWA was originally designed as a temporary agency, though its mandate has been continuously renewed every three years by the General Assembly.
- It’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.
- It provides services in its five fields of operations: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East of Jerusalem.
- UNRWA is unique in that it delivers services directly to its beneficiaries.
- It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States. It also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations.
- It reports only to the UN General Assembly.
- It was originally headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, but was moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1978.
- In 1996 the General Assembly moved the agency to the Gaza Strip to demonstrate the Assembly’s commitment to the Arab-Israeli peace process.