• Thu. Jun 23rd, 2022

Palestinian refugees in Jenin face security and economic challenges [EN/AR] – occupied Palestinian territory

ByDebra J. Aguilar

May 31, 2022


As part of his ongoing commitment to the Palestine refugee community, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, spent a day in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied northern West Bank yesterday.

“I am fully aware of the tension of the situation,” Mr. Lazzarini said. “I am here today to reiterate my and senior leadership’s commitment to Palestinian refugees and their right to a dignified life. Every person I’ve met here today deserves to live in safety. But the economic and security situation is worrying, hence the immense relevance of the work that UNRWA is doing to restore a sense of normalcy through open schools, health centers and through its ongoing programs.

Following his visit to UNRWA schools, Mr. Lazzarini met with the Popular Service Committee of the Jenin camp, to discuss the disturbing impact of the almost daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli Security Forces (ISF) and Palestinian armed militants. Camp residents increasingly rely on UNRWA services, including psychosocial interventions for children and adults, social interventions for affected families and employment opportunities. The Commissioner General pledged to scale up Agency support for Jenin summer camps for school children, increase work opportunities for sanitation workers in the camp and provide response kits first aid to families affected by the ongoing conflict.

“Residents of Jenin camp are under immense security and economic pressures,” said Ms. Dorothee Klaus, UNRWA’s Acting Director of West Bank Affairs. “The local economy is depleted, as Israeli Arab customers who used to come to buy local products stay away, and Israeli work permits are no longer granted.”

Jenin camp is home to more than 22,000 registered Palestinian refugees. UNRWA provides basic education to 1,750 students in its four UNRWA elementary schools – two schools for boys and two schools for girls. Every day, an average of 300 patients seek treatment at the UNRWA primary health care center located in the camp. A total of five URNWA social workers visit affected families in need of psychosocial and material assistance.

Background information:

UNRWA faces an increased demand for services resulting from an increase in the number of registered Palestinian refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their growing poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been exceeded by growing needs. As a result, UNRWA’s program budget, which supports the delivery of basic essential services, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to make every effort to fully fund the Agency’s program budget. UNRWA’s emergency programs and key projects, which also operate with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in its five areas of operation. Its mission is to help Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to realize their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their fate. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.


Tamara Alrifai

UNRWA Spokesperson


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