Creating new perspectives since 2009

Al-Khodari warns of efforts to cancel UNRWA’s mandate

September 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

Head of the Popular Committee Jamal El-Khodari speaks during a press conference in Gaza city on 23 July, 2018 [Ramadan el-agha/Apaimages]

Head of Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS), MP Jamal Al-Khodari, warned on Friday of intensive efforts being exerted at the UN to cancel the mandate of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

In a statement, a copy of which sent to MEMO, Al-Khodari claimed that this is part of the so-called “deal of the century,” which started with the suspension of US donations to the UN.

Al-Khodari noted that there have been efforts to cancel the UNRWA mandate or give it “incomplete” mandate, reducing its services offered to the millions of Palestine refugees.

“Cancelling the UNRWA mandate is the introduction of ending the issue of Palestine refugees,” he explained, stating that the following step is settling the refugees.

Al-Khodari warned the Arab and Islamic states of these “disastrous” plans and called for “urgent political and diplomatic efforts on all levels in order to avoid inflicting more disasters on the Palestinians.”

READ: The voice of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon must be heard 

UNRWA, he disclosed, cares for more than one million refugees in the Gaza Strip alone, while it cares for more than five million in the other occupied territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

“Therefore, the UN General Assembly is demanding to extend UNRWA’s mandate without any change and should open the door for its members to pay their financial pledges to let the international organisation carry out its mission,” he concluded.

UNRWA is a UN 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, to achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

The organisation is currently facing a $120 million deficit, due to the lack of financial support compared to the increased demand for services. This is as a result of the growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty, in addition to the halt of US funds.