UN refugee agency employees protest in Gaza City

UNRWA employees in Gaza blast cash-strapped agency’s plan to terminate contracts of dozens of workers

UN refugee agency employees protest in Gaza City

World Bulletin / News Desk

Employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) demonstrated outside the agency’s Gaza City office on Monday to protest plans to terminate the contracts of dozens of workers in the UNRWA’s emergency program.

At the protest, demonstrators condemned the planned dismissals and called for the sacking of UNRWA Operations Director in Gaza Mathias Shamali.

“UNRWA should find a solution to its financial problems that doesn’t involve sacking employees,” Amir al-Mishal of the UNRWA Employees Union in Gaza said at the protest.

According to al-Mishal, UNRWA recently discontinued its psychological health program, which had provided direct psychological services for Palestinian refugees and had employed 430 workers.

According to union officials, UNRWA has also terminated the contracts of dozens of its engineers in recent months.

Established in 1949, UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees displaced by successive conflicts and who are now living in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Earlier this year, the U.S. suspended over half of the annual funding -- $65 million out of $125 million -- earmarked for the refugee agency.

The move came after the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah ruled out any U.S. role in the peace process in retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2018, 15:41