Untied Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)

  • UNRWA is relief and human development agency of UN which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their descendants.
  • It is only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.
  • Establishment: It was established December 1949 following 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict by UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV).
  • Mandate: 
    • UNRWA has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees , who had fled or were expelled from their homes during 1948 Palestine war as well during and following 1967 Six Day war.
    • Originally, it was intended to provide jobs on public works projects and direct relief, but now it provides services like education, health care, and social services to population it supports.
    • It also allows refugee status to be inherited by descendants.
  • Region of operation: 
    • It provides aid in five areas of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem; and aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.
    • It serves about 5.3 million refugees scattered around Middle East.
  • Funding:
    • It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states.
    • It also receives some funding from regular budget of UN, which is used mostly for international staffing costs.
  • Why in news? India has raised its annual contributions from $1.25 million per year to $5 million for the next three years

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