United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) staff on Wednesday protested at the body’s Gaza city headquarters protest against new cuts the international organization intends to implement as part of a plan to deal with its budget deficit.
The UNRWA has recently made the decision to terminate hundreds of permanent job contracts with employees inside the Gaza Strip, as well as ending various programs it had set up in order to help Palestinians in Gaza survive.
Hundreds of employees and their families gathered upon the invitation of the General Staff Union to ask the UNRWA administration to reverse its decisions to dismiss employees, especially contract holders.
Demonstrators also protested against the body’s intention to suspend many of the fixed rights of official officials, despite pledges being made by many donor countries to make up for UNRWA's fixed budget deficit.
In recent weeks, UNRWA terminated 335 contracted. It is expected that some 800 additional employees will be up for curtail in the process of recovering from the large budget deficit facing the program, which has over 1,000 employees, working in the various service centers established by UNRWA.
Since the US withheld funds from UNRWA, only committing 60 million of the original funds, the agency has suffered a 246 million dollar deficit.
“This move will adversely affect the services provided by the UNRWA in the Gaza Strip and those provided to more than 1.3 million Palestinian refugees,” head of UNRWA’s Workers Union Amir Al-Meshal said at the sit-in.
He pointed out that they are disappointed with the results of recent New York meeting, saying that UNRWA, for the first time in its history, to extend one month only to employees on the item of permanent contracts, as a first step to dispense with the rest of them.