UN refugee agency to sack dozens of Gaza employees

Palestinians believe that the UNRWA is reducing its services as part of plan to fade out

The UN refugee agency UNRWA will not renew the contracts of around 113 employees in the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said on Wednesday. 

“UNRWA will not renew the temporary contracts for 113 Gaza-based employees in the agency’s emergency program,” Sami Mshasha told Anadolu Agency.

He said the contracts of those employees are already set to end by the end of this month.

“UNRWA will not sack them. Rather, it will not renew their contracts,” the spokesman said.

Last Monday, UNRWA employees staged an all-day sit-in inside UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City and outside the office of UNRWA Director of Operations Matthias Shamali.

According to the UNRWA’s Staff Union, the Agency has closed its mental health programme, which was providing direct services to Palestinian refugees and employing about 430 staff.

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

The Union stated that the UNRWA’s decision to sack its employees is an initial step to dismiss a thousand employees of the emergency programmes by the end of 2018, adding that next year is witness a new wave of dismissals under the pretext of a budget deficit.

Established in 1949, UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees displaced since 1948 and who are now living in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

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

(Source / 25.07.2018)

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