UNRWA ‘determined to protect rights of Palestinian refugees’

PNN/ Jerusalem/

UNRWA Commissioner-General in Jerusalem, Pierre Krähenbühl on Monday issued an official statement on the current situation in Jerusalem, saying that the level of anxiety and tension has risen again in the Middle-East and all eyes are turned to Jerusalem.

“I stand here within the Old City of Jerusalem to assure you – the Palestine Refugees – that UNRWA is more determined than ever to protect your rights and meet your needs,” Krähenbühl said.

“Nothing is more important to me than fulfilling that mission. It is a mandate that reflects the will of the international community and was extended by the United Nations General Assembly a year ago,” he added.

The Commissioner-General continued with mentioning the current financial challenges facing UNRWA  for the remainder of this year, with a $49 million deficit.

“As we near the end of 2017, I am therefore acutely conscious of the profound concern that refugees and UNRWA staff feel about a disruption of UNRWA services… I have taken exceptional steps, including special appeals to the highest levels of the international community, and internal measures, to preserve our vital work.”

Krähenbühl  announced that UNRWA services – here in East-Jerusalem, in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – will continue without interruption in 2017, which means 711 UNRWA schools, 143 clinics,  will remain open, in addition to UNRWA’s relief and social services, sanitation and camp improvement work, its micro-finance, protection and emergency activities that will continue in all fields.

On 6 December, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, spoke for the entire United Nations when he said “Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions […]There is no alternative to the Two-State Solution. There is no plan B”.

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