Palestinian refugees to protest UNRWA”s services reduction

2/25/2012 9:24:00 PM | KUNA

GAZA, Feb 25 (KUNA) — The popular committees of the Palestinian refugees in camps in Gaza Strip said Saturday they would stage wide-scale sit-ins in protest of UNRWA’s decision to reduce services.

The committees said in different statements the sit-ins would be held in front of the food supply centers of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in six out of eight refugee camps in Gaza.

The sit-ins are in protest of UNRWA’s “arbitrary policy aims at stopping financial and material aid to many of our refugee (Palestinian) people here in camps in Palestine and there in camps in diaspora.” The committees called on all Palestinians in Gaza to participate in the sit-ins, to remind UNRWA of its commitment to help the Palestinians who were forced out of their homes and lands by Israel in 1948.

During the sit-ins, the protesters will call for “no starvation policy,” “no humiliation” and “give us our rights and return us to our lands and houses” in line with UN resolution 194.

Meanwhile, director general of the Camps Affairs Department at the PLO Jawdat Judeh said there were rising concern among the Palestinian refugees in Gaza following UNRWA’s decision to reduce its services to refugees.

Judeh, based in Gaza, attributed UNRWA’s decision to trim down services to failure of some donor countries to pay their contributions to the UN agency.

The most dangerous decision by UNRWA, he told KUNA, was halting the financial assistance to the poorer refugee families in Gaza, which has been under the Israeli siege for over four years.

UNRWA justified the move as lack of funding from the European Union (EU).

UNRWA is financially assisting around 21,000 families, or 106,000 refugees.

The UN agency needs around USD 300 million to cover activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (end) KUNA 252124 Feb 12NNNN

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