UNRWA staff gathered outside the agency’s headquarters in the besieged Gaza Strip to protest against the suspension of work contracts for 951 employees.
“We came today to tell UNRWA that its harsh measures against the employees working in the emergency programme are unacceptable” said Amal Al-Batsh, deputy head of the UNRWA Staff Union.
She explained that UNRWA’s decision to dismiss 13 per cent of its emergency programme workers, move 57 per cent on to part-time contracts, and the rest on to temporary contracts which end later this year means job insecurity. Around 1,000 employees working in emergency programmes are threatened with dismissal by the end of this year, she added.
UNRWA’s emergency programme operates in a number of sectors including mental health and engineering; however due to budget deficit, UNRWA has recently terminated the contracts of 335 employees working in the department.
Al-Batsh explained that UNRWA’s decision does not help solve the agency’s financial crisis.