Created in December 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
) is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees
, and their patrilineal descendants, who fled or were expelled
from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war
as well as those who fled or were expelled
during and following the 1967 Six Day war
. Originally intended to provide jobs on public works projects and direct relief, today UNRWA provides education, health care, and social services
to the population it supports. Aid is provided in five areas of operation: Jordan
, the Gaza Strip
and the West Bank
, including East Jerusalem
; aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR
It also provided relief to Jewish and Arab Palestine refugees inside the state of Israel following the 1948 conflict until the Israeli government took over responsibility for Jewish refugees in 1952.
In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2020. Jared Kushner
, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States
and the U.S. broker for peace talks, has advocated a "sincere effort to disrupt" UNRWA as part of the Trump administration's proposals for the Middle East, since according to Kushner it "perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace". Read more...