UNRWA - 67 Years of Humanitarian Support to Palestine Refugees
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and the Stockholm Association of International Affairs (UF) held a seminar on the UN’s humanitarian assistance to and protection of Palestine refugees, with the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl.
Created as a temporary agency until a just, peaceful and durable solution for Palestine refugees was achieved, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established in 1949 with a mandate set to expire in one year.
Today, sixty-seven years later, the UN agency still provides essential services for the well-being, human development and protection of Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza, pending a solution to the refugee question. To the 5.3 million refugees, UNRWA’s educational, healthcare and social service programmes constitute a stable feature in a region of turmoil.
What is the current status of the situation for the refugees? What are the prospects of fulfilling UNRWA’s mandate when global humanitarian needs are greater than ever and resources to cover them are less than what one can wish for?
Bitte Hammargren, editor of UI’s Utrikesmagasinet and Middle East analyst, moderated the seminar.