The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

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Overview:

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."

About The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA):

  • It 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.
  • Mandate: 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.
  • Services provided: 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.
  • Fields of operations:  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.
  • Funding: 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.
  • Headquarters: 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.
  • Its chief officer, the commissioner-general—the only leader of a UN agency to report directly to the General Assembly—is appointed by the UN secretary-general with the approval of an Advisory Commission.

 


Q1) What is the Six-Day War?

The Six-Day War was a brief but bloody conflict fought in June 1967 between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Source: Guterres: 'UNRWA on verge of financial collapse'