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        General Assembly
A/42/13 (SUPP)
15 September 1987

Original: Arabic/English/French

SUPPLEMENT No. 13 (A/42/13)



1 July 1986 - 30 June 1987


Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combined with figures. Mention of such a symbol indicates a reference to a United Nations document.

In the present report, the term "West Bank" refers to the occupied West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the term "Jordan refers to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan excluding the occupied West Bank, wherever it is necessary to differentiate between these two Fields of the Agency's area of operations.

[Original: Arabic/English/French]

[15 September 1987]

Letter of transmittal .................................................

Letter from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East to the Commissioner-General ..........................


INTRODUCTION ...............................................

BASIC PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES ............................
1 - 178

19 - 86





Emergency operations in Lebanon ........................

Education services .....................................

Health services ........................................

Relief services ........................................

Legal matters ..........................................
19 - 34

35 - 45

46 - 62

63 - 76

77 - 86





STATISTICAL INFORMATION ................................................

BODIES .................................................................



2 September 1987

I have the honor to submit my annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the period 1 July 1986 through 30 June 1987, in compliance with the request in paragraph 21 of resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and with paragraph 8 of resolution 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958.

In the introduction to the report (chap. I) I am pleased to report that the financial situation of UNRWA improved during the past year and that projections for 1987 are generally encouraging. In 1986, for the first time in several years, contributions were sufficient to fund the Agency core programmes but, once again, they fell far short of the assessment needed to carry out essential construction projects. This continuing problem was brought to the attention of the UNRWA Advisory Commission at its regular meeting in August 1987. Members responded urging Governments and other agencies to support my efforts to obtain additional funds, over and above contributions for UNRWA regular programmes for urgent-construction projects.

Chapter II of the report presents highlights of the Agency’s operations during the reporting period, including emergency relief operations for refugees in Lebanon. To meet these extraordinary expenses, I issued an appeal on 26 February 1987 for special contributions to cover relief operations and repair of Agency installations and refugee shelters. Commitments for some $16.6 million have been received thus far.

The two annexes to the report contain statistical data on UNRWA operations and programmes and references to documents of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies related to the Agency's operations.

As was the case last year, to make available to the General Assembly the most up-to-date data possible, the 1987 budget of UNRWA and other financial information will be presented in an addendum to this report in early October.

The members of the UNRWA Advisory Commission examined this report in draft form and their views have been given careful attention in preparing the final text. Its views are set forth in its Chairman's letter of 27 August 1987, a copy of which is enclosed.

I have deemed it appropriate to maintain the established practice of showing the draft to representatives of the Government of Israel and to give consideration also to their comments, given that a major part of the Agency's operations is conducted in areas occupied by Israel since 1967.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.

(Signed) Giorgio GIACOMELLI

The President of the General Assembly
United Nations
New York


27 August 1987

Dear Mr. Giacomelli,

At their meeting today at Vienna the members of the UNRWA Advisory Commission considered your draft report on the Agency's operations during the period from 1 July 1986 through 30 June 1987, to be submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-second session and the Agency’s current financial situation, its construction needs and the medium term plan.

The Commission wishes once again to emphasize the importance of the role played by UNRWA in providing essential services for Palestine refugees, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, until a just and durable solution to the question of Palestine is attained.

The members of the Commission share your satisfaction that UNRWA managed to survive the difficult financial problems of 1985. It is also gratifying that last year, for the first time in several years, there was a small excess of income over expenditures in the Agency's General Fund, which helped to offset the shortfalls in previous years.

It is also a matter of satisfaction to note that pledges at the November 1986 pledging conference came close to covering the Agency's requirements for its regular programme. They were, however, once again far from sufficient to meet the minimum requirements for the Agency's planned construction. Members of the Commission listened with interest to UNRWA's description of its needs to overcome the neglect of past years through replacement of unsatisfactory installations, especially those being used in the education programme, and embarking upon an expanded maintenance programme. They urge Governments and other agencies to support the Commissioner-General’s initiative by contributing generously over and above their support for UNRWA's regular programme to enable the Agency to fulfil its construction needs over the next few years. They appeal especially to those Governments and agencies that so far have not contributed to the Agency's General Fund to support generously the special construction programme.

The members of the Commission once again wish to express their gratitude for the valuable services that the Arab host Governments continue to provide for the Palestine refugees. Their contribution is vital for the overall welfare of the refugees and the Commission urges UNRWA to continue to co-ordinate its programmes closely with the host Governments.

The Commission expresses its admiration for the selfless dedication of UNRWA's staff, who, often working in very dangerous conditions, were able to carry on basic operations. In this respect, the members of the Advisory Commission wish to pay tribute to the UNRWA staff who have lost their lives course of duty and urge the Secretary-General to honor their memory in a special way.

Members recognized the Commissioner-General's concern for the implications if the recommendation of the Group of High-level Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations to reduce United Nations staff by 15 per cent is applied to UNRWA. They hope that a way can be found to avoid such an action, which could hamper UNRWA's ability to administer services to the refugees.

In addition, recognizing the serious difficulties the Agency has experienced during the past year in fulfilling its mandate, the members of the Commission call upon all parties concerned to help the Agency in carrying out its tasks.

The Commission also wishes to reiterate its thanks to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the personal support he has extended to the Agency.

The members of the Commission wish to express their deep appreciation, Mr. Commissioner-General, for the commitment you and your staff have shown in meeting the heavy responsibilities that have been entrusted to UNRWA in difficult circumstances.

(Signed) Erdem ERNER
Chairman of the-Advisory Commission

Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli
Commissioner-General of the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East


1. The year under review has been a mixed one for UNRWA. On the one hand, the financial situation was less worrying than it has been for many years, and there are achievements to show for the Agency's constant search for improvements in its overall management and the efficient delivery of its services. On the other hand, operational difficulties persisted. In Lebanon the difficulties faced in maintaining services to refugees were at times almost insurmountable and threatened to bring operations to a halt. That the Agency was able to continue, albeit with interruptions, was due in large measure to the courage, tenacity and dedication of the staff serving in Lebanon as well as to the resilience of the refugees themselves. In the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, sporadic incidents and pervasive tension created a difficult atmosphere within which to conduct operations.

2. The year also saw the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 41/69 A of 3 December 1986, in which the Assembly extended the Agency's mandate for a further three years until 30 June 1990. By taking that action, the Assembly reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to the Palestine refugees and assured them of continuing assistance for the next three years. However, the Assembly's decision was also a reminder that after almost 40 years the problem of the Palestine refugees was still not solved, despite the fact that the principle upon which it was to be solved had been set out by the Assembly at the very outset in 1948. General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, one of the many resolutions adopted by the United Nations on the Palestine problems, sets out this principle in paragraph 11, as follows:

"The General Assembly,


3. That decision is not merely of historic interest, but is embodied in the founding resolution of UNRWA as well as in every resolution adopted on the Agency since. It was again referred to in General Assembly resolution 41/69 A, the most recent relating to the Agency. In paragraph 1 of that resolution, the Assembly noted with deep regret that repatriation or compensation as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), had not been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continued to be a matter of serious concern. Again, in paragraph 4, the Assembly noted with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine had been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and requested it to continue its efforts. Finally, in paragraph 8, when deciding to extend the Agency's mandate for a further three years, the Assembly introduced a qualification by adding the phrase "without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III)", thus further emphasizing the close relevance of this principle to the Agency's mandate. In this first report since the Agency's mandate was once again extended and at a time when it faces a further three years of endeavor, it seems appropriate to re-examine the elements of the mandate and their meaning for the Agency’s operations.

4. UNRWA was set up to provide assistance to the Palestine refugees pending the implementation of the solution agreed upon by the General Assembly. It was not given the responsibility of implementing that solution; that task was given to a political body of the United Nations system, the United Nations Conciliation, Commission for Palestine. Nor was the Agency empowered to promote other solutions. The refugees' right to choose repatriation or compensation has been annually reiterated by the Assembly. Unfortunately, outside United Nations circles, this tends to have been forgotten. The result has been that UNRWA has been attacked for not seeking durable solution and has been accused of perpetuating the problem.

5. There have also been misconceptions about the kind of assistance the Agency provides under, its mandate. Initially, the Agency provided the refugees with emergency relief assistance such as food, clothing and shelter. With the passage of time, however, the needs of the refugees changed and the Agency adapted its services to meet, those changing needs. Today, it provides direct relief assistance to only some 5 per cent of the refugee population. It devotes the bulk of its efforts and resources to the productive developmental tasks of educating children, furnishing advanced training, maintaining an effective public health care service and providing a basic welfare service to a population of some 12 million that is largely industrious and self-supporting. Yet, in some quarters, UNRWA continues to be portrayed as an Agency concerned with distributing food to refugees who sit idly in camps, relieved of the need to earn a living. Such a portrayal is grossly unfair both to the Agency and to the refugees. Over the years, these misconceptions have affected the Agency's reputation and hampered its efforts to secure support for its programmes. We must therefore continue to do everything possible to correct them. I am encouraged, however, by increasing political and financial support forthcoming from Governments in recent years. This support derives in large part from the Agency's solid record of positive achievements, which, as, it becomes more widely understood, will, I am confident, correct these distortions in its public image.

6. The financial situation of the Agency improved in 1986 and. projections for 1987 are encouraging. While fuller details will be included in the addendum to the present report. I believe it is appropriate to make some general observations at this point. The Agency finished the year 1986 having spent a total of $186.5 million on its regular programme and related projects, while its income in cash and in kind totaled $189.9 million. This left an excess of income over expenditure of $2.6 million in the General Fund, which helped to offset the shortfalls in previous years. For 1987, the Agency has budgeted a total expenditure of $200.3 million, of which $177.7 million is devoted to the regular programme and $22.5 million to related projects. It should be noted that the slight differences between the figures quoted here for the 1987 budget and those that appeared in table 1 of the addendum to last year’s annual report 1/ are due to the introduction of more recent data on costs and currency exchange rates. However, the prospects for receiving sufficient income to cover the 1987 budget are quite good. This trend was apparent at the pledging conference, held in New York in November 1986 when, for the first time, the amount of cash pledged for the coming year came close to equaling the Agency's planned cash expenditure for the regular programme.

7. In assessing the Agency’s financial position, one should bear in mind that the budget is prepared in United States dollars, while many contributions are paid in Western European and other non-dollar currencies. Expenditures, however, are made mainly in currencies of the Near East and, to a much lesser extent, in Austrian schillings and other Western currencies. Thus, the financial position of the Agency is very sensitive to changes in exchange rates. In some cases these changes work to the Agency's advantage, in other cases to its disadvantage.

8. Increases in prices and salary levels in the Agency’s areas of operation also have their impact on Agency expenditures. If salary levels for government employees rise, the Agency's Policy is to review the salaries paid to its area staff to keep them in line with those paid by host governments. With respect to future changes in salaries and prices, the Agency includes a provision in its budget based on its best estimate at the time when the budget is presented to the General Assembly in October. No such provisions are, of course, made for changes in exchange rates, as it is hardly possible to make any meaningful projections for such changes. This means that subsequent changes that adversely affect the overall financial situation of UNRWA would have a negative impact on the Agency's programme activities unless additional funds become available to cover extra costs. Contrary to the Agency’s budget, its medium-term plan for the period 1988-1990 contains no provision for increases in government salary scales and only very limited provision for price increases. Thus, changes reflected in the plan are basically expressed in real terms at a given salary and price level and at exchange rates prevailing at the time when the plan was prepared.

9. The achievement of a delicate equilibrium between planned expenditure and income may be attributed in general terms to increased contribution from donors, mostly Governments, who have responded generously and in a timely fashion to appeals that the Agency has directed to them. For this I am sincerely grateful. Also of primary importance were the belt-tightening measures introduced by the Agency itself in 1985, which have, for the most part, been maintained. Other factors have likewise contributed to this result. The informal meeting of donors held for the first-time in May 1986 in Vienna proved to be an effective means of involving donor and host Governments more closely with the Agency and of increasing their participation in and understanding of its activities. Acting on a proposal put forward at the first meeting, a second such meeting was scheduled to be held in July 1987. The development of the External Relations Division in the Commissioner- General's Office at Headquarters, which was established some years ago, has made it possible to develop relations with donors in a much more systematic way, ensuring a fruitful flow of information between the Agency and the donors. Another related factor has been the development of more regular visits by the Commissioner-General, the Deputy Commissioner-General and other senior staff to existing and potential donors. The Agency has also successfully encouraged parliamentarians, government officials, journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations to visit the Agency's area of operations. The first-hand knowledge of the Agency's operations gained on these visits has done much to build understanding of and support for UNRWA. I intend to continue to
encourage such visits.

10. The balance between income and expenditure achieved in 1986 and forecast for 1987 should not, however, be allowed to give rise to complacency. On the contrary, it calls for redoubled efforts to maintain financial stability and to avoid slipping back into the previous situation where the regular programmes were constantly threatened through lack of funding. In the first place, the Agency is projecting a small annual increase in budgeted expenditure dictated by the natural increase in the population served, that will have to be met by a corresponding increase in income each year while the Agency has been successful in obtaining an overall increase in income over the past two years, one should not forget that this has been due in large part to the generosity of a few donors who have made comparatively large increases in their contributions, a situation that we cannot expect to be repeated. What the Agency is still lacking and should strive to obtain is the agreement of donors to small but regular increases in order to cover the annual increase in population. Additionally, very little progress has been made in broadening the base of financial support for the Agency. This remains a matter of high priority for me and my staff over the coming year. In this connection, I was most encouraged to be informed of the decision taken by the Council of the League of Arab States in April 1987 to call upon their member States, as part of the international community and in keeping with the actions taken by other contributing States, to increase the level of their contributions to that of 1981, i.e. 7.73 per cent of the Agency’s total budget in that year. Finally, it should not be forgotten that although sufficient funds have been forthcoming to cover the regular programmes, the construction budget remains largely unfunded, which means that much needed construction of schools, clinics and other facilities continues to be postponed, to the detriment of the services to the refugees. Many of the installations are dilapidated, unsafe, unsuitable or uneconomic and need to be replaced. The longer replacement is delayed, the more it will cost in the long run. There are, therefore, economic as well as operational reasons to ensure that the necessary funding for the construction programme is obtained as soon as possible. I am exploring ways to address this problem but must emphasize that any funds made available for construction should not be at the expense of contributions to the regular programme.

11. The improved financial position of the Agency in recent years can also be related to the steps taken to improve management, including financial management, and efficiency. Some of the steps taken in 1985, known as "the austerity measures", involved a study of workloads leading to a rationalization of functions and reductions of posts. These measures have been maintained and extended. More responsibility for management of both staff and resources has been given to programme managers, which should lead to greater efficiency, and measures are being effected to improve the co-ordination of operational activities. The principal administrative tool to implement this initiative is the three year medium-term plan, which was introduced in 1986 and has now been "rolled over", for the first-time, dropping 1986 and adding 1990. The plan describes the programmes and sub-programmes that are envisaged, defines the objectives and the strategies that will be used to attain them and lists the resources, in terms of both staff and funds, allocated to each. The plan also incorporates an evaluation process, which, when fully functioning, will enable programme managers and top management to assess progress, identify shortcomings and apply appropriate remedies. I believe that the further development of this process will lead to significant cost benefits. In this connection, more emphasis is already being placed on staff training and on auditing.

12. The continuation of the tragic situation in Lebanon throughout the period under review has brought further suffering to the people of Lebanon as well as to the Palestine refugees residing there. It has also imposed enormous demands on Agency in trying to meet the needs of the refugees, who have had to endure yet another life-threatening experience. Hardly an area of Lebanon where they live has escaped the effects of the fighting; west and east Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Tripoli and the Beqa’a valley have all suffered from outbreaks of fighting or violence. Those that remained in the besieged camps have faced death, injury and shortages of food, water and medical supplies, and most have suffered the loss of their homes and property. Thousands who fled the fighting and found shelter in basements, damaged or unfinished buildings or empty schools have also lost their homes and possessions. Others, like those in Ein el-Hilweh, have experienced air raids that have caused deaths, injuries and damage to their property, while yet others have been threatened and harassed and are afraid to move out of their camps or other places of refuge. Although precise figures are not available, several hundred Palestine refugees lost their lives during the fighting and thousands were injured.

13. Agency operations were also seriously affected. The safety of staff within west Beirut, Saida and Tyre, as well as on the roads to the other areas in Lebanon where the Agency operates, was a constant source of concern. Staff members trying to bring services and supplies to refugees in the camps and in their places of refuge were, of course, the most exposed, but even those working in the main offices were frequently in danger. For these reasons, it was necessary not only to maintain the sub-office in Larnaca but also to make other temporary arrangements for office from time to time. I am pleased to say that since February and March, it has been much easier for us to carry out our operations, the situation having greatly improved following action by the Syrian armed forces to curb the militias. Nevertheless, staff members still require special protection, including bodyguards, when moving through sensitive areas. It is sad to have to report that, during the period under review, seven staff members were killed and scores were wounded, bringing the total killed since 1982 to 29, with hundreds kidnapped, missing and wounded. These include Alec Collett, a journalist working for UNRWA when he was kidnapped in 1985, about whom there has been no news since 1986 when his kidnappers claimed that he had been executed. I wish to pay a special tribute to the devotion of the Agency staff serving in Lebanon who, often at great personal risk to themselves, have maintained the flow of services to the refugees.

14. Throughout the disruptions in Lebanon the Agency has striven to maintain the level of its regular services to the refugees. This has meant seeing that the schools are open and the children are properly taught, that the health centres, the clinics and the supplementary feeding centres operate and that the special hardship cases receive the assistance they need. In addition, in response to humanitarian considerations, the Agency has mounted one emergency relief operation after another. Initially, the cost of the supplies and staff required by these operations was met from the regular budget and from ad hoc-contributions. By February, however, the Agency was already providing assistance to some 33,000 displaced persons and I saw the need to extend this assistance to all Palestine refugees in Lebanon. On 26 February, therefore, I launched an appeal to the international community and established an emergency relief fund. I wish to express my appreciation to donors for their prompt and generous response. Their support has made it possible to carry out what I believe has been a successful operation, which is continuing. Information about the emergency operation is set out in paragraphs 19 to 34 below. There is, however, one aspect of the Agency's emergency operations to which I wish to refer in this introduction and that is the reaction of the militias involved in the fighting around the camps to those operations.

15. The Agency has always been careful to emphasize the humanitarian nature of the assistance it has been trying to provide to the Palestine refugees, but this was not always fully understood by the militias involved in the fighting or by the Lebanese civilians who were also suffering. The Agency was, therefore, prevented from bringing supplies into the camps or transporting them along the roads and was advised that these operations would be permitted only if it delivered equal amounts of food and supplies for distribution to the non-refugee population also affected by the fighting. In an effort to resolve these difficulties, I made two visits to Lebanon for discussions with, those concerned, one in January, and the other in February. During those visits I was informed of the deep seated feelings held on this issue and was able to explain the limitations that made it impossible for UNRWA to meet their demands. In a public statement, on 12 January, I expressed my concern for the sufferings of all the people of Lebanon but emphasized that the mandate of UNRWA was limited to assisting Palestine refugees. I added that the best way to overcome the present difficult situation would be to associate other organizations in an operation that would reach all groups in Lebanon. To that end, I immediately informed the Secretary-General of the need for a co-ordinated programme of assistance for Lebanon and went on to discuss the problem in Rome with the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP). I am especially grateful to the Secretary- General for his efforts to promote a broader programme of assistance for Lebanon. I am also grateful to the Executive Directors of WFP and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for their efforts, and I look forward to co-operating with the planning mission envisaged by the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO). I am confident that steps such as these to provide co-ordinated assistance to all those in need in Lebanon will not only facilitate UNRWA's operations but will help to ease tensions and assist in the restoration of peace and security in that troubled land.

16. The situation of the refugees in the occupied territories remains a matter of concern. Frustrations and concern by refugees and non-refugees alike about 20 years of occupation, the uncertain future and developments in Lebanon have contributed to an increasing number of demonstrations and acts of defiance against the occupying authorities. These actions have prompted responses that have often led to confrontations and sometimes to violence and loss of life. Despite widespread interruptions of the school day and temporary closures of UNRWA schools and training centres, the Agency has been able to maintain its education programme by making up lost instruction time, thereby minimizing the effect of these disruptions on the education of the young people concerned. In fact, state examination results, where direct comparisons can be made, reflect that students from UNRWA schools and training centres did as well as, and in many cases better than, those from corresponding government institutions.

17. UNRWA officials believe that reduced employment opportunities for refugees in the occupied territories, Israel and neighboring Arab countries have contributed to a deterioration in their economic situation. I am encouraged, however, by the increase in international interest in promoting economic development. The decision by the European Economic Community to open its markets to products from the occupied territories was a positive one, but much remains to be done before West Bank and Gaza Strip producers can take full advantage of it. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other bodies of the United Nations system have also initiated a number of additional developmental projects. These efforts are commendable but have made little headway in reducing unemployment and underemployment. The people of the Gaza Strip, two thirds of whom are refugees, still face the special difficulties to which I drew attention in my last report. I am pleased to note that, in recognition of the special needs, a number of donors have responded by earmarking contributions for projects in the Gaza Strip that are enabling the Agency to improve its services. In all the occupied territories there is still heavy pressure on the Agency’s services. More refugees are using UNRWA health services and an increasing number are claiming assistance as special hardship cases, a demand the Agency is unable to meet.

18. In this introduction I have tried to set out my main concerns as the Agency faces a further three years of operations. Over the past year, I have been encouraged by the political and financial support extended to UNRWA by Governments. I am confident that that support will continue to be forthcoming. This will enable the Agency to maintain its humanitarian services to the refugees and to continue to act as a stabilizing factor in the Middle East. In this way it can contribute to the achievement of a just and, lasting peace in the region and to the solution of the problem of the Palestine refugees.

A. Emergency operations in Lebanon

19. The year under review began in Lebanon with the lifting of the sieges of two camps in west Beirut, thus enabling the Agency to end relief supplies to the refugees still living in Burj el-Barajneh and Shatila. Refugees who had fled from the camps began returning but it was soon apparent that many feared to return and stayed in whatever accommodation they had been able to find outside the camps. This made necessary for the Agency to continue to provide emergency assistance to some 48,000 displaced refugees temporarily residing in Tyre, Saida, Tripoli and the Beqa’a valley. The Agency began to restore its normal health services and made good progress in repairing its buildings and equipment that had been damaged. Schools opened on time in September, although attendance was low for the first few weeks in Burj el-Barajneh and Shatila. By the end of September, the emergency operation that began as a result of the fighting in Beirut between May and July 1986 could be said to be over.

20. The Agency, however, was soon faced with the need to mount another emergency relief operation, this time in the Tyre area. There, tension between local militia forces And Palestinians around Rashidieh camp led on 30 September to the outbreak of full-scale fighting and the siege of the camp. The two other camps in the Tyre area, Burj el-Shemali and El-Buss, also came under siege for a short time.

21. The immediate need, as in the earlier operations in Lebanon, was to provide essential supplies of food and medicines to the civilians besieged in the camps and to give food and other assistance to families that had fled to places of refuge elsewhere in Lebanon (Saida, Beirut, Tripoli and the Beqa’a valley). Representations based on humanitarian considerations were made repeatedly to those in positions of authority in order to gain access to refugee's remaining in the Tyre camps. The siege of Rashidieh camp, however, continued throughout the period under review and the Agency has been denied access except occasionally on foot by some few staff members. Since late February, women have been allowed out to obtain supplies and schools gradually opened as from 12 May with about one third of the enrolled school population. Agency services in Rashidieh camp are still seriously affected. The sieges of the two smaller camps in the Tyre area, Burj el-Shemali and El-Buss, were soon lifted, but the camps have remained surrounded by a hostile armed militia, which has discouraged any but the most essential movements out of the camp by the refugees. Women and children have been able to bring some supplies into the camps and most of the Agency's services (schools, health clinics and supplementary feeding centres) have functioned more or less normally. Nevertheless, the dangers the refugees faced in procuring supplies and their inability to move out of these two camps for employment convinced the Agency that they were in need of emergency relief supplies have therefore been taken in from time to time, although not without difficulty. The Agency has also provided emergency assistance to the thousands of displaced refugees who fled the Tyre camps.

22. One of the main problems that hampered the emergency relief operation in the south of Lebanon was that of transporting supplies from Beirut. Movement between east and west Beirut, and within west Beirut, was difficult and dangerous. With the outbreak of fighting around the camps in the Tyre area, movement of staff and supplies along the coastal road through Saida to Tyre also became subject to checks, attacks and hijackings and soon became impossible. The result was that the operation in the south was limited to the supplies that were already in place there until special measures, made possible with the arrival of additional international staff, were instituted.

23. The Agency soon became acutely concerned for the safety of the refugees in Beirut. Sporadic fighting around the Beirut camps intensified after the siege of the camps in the south began and by mid-November both main camps in west Beirut were again the scenes of heavy fighting and were under siege. The situation was complicated by lighting involving Palestinians in the Saida area, which not only further interfered with regular services there but also put the refugee population increasingly in need of assistance. These developments made it necessary for the Agency to extend its emergency relief operation to the growing number of displaced refugees in Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon.

24. By January the situation of the refugees, particularly those in the besieged camps in west Beirut and Tyre, had become perilous. Despite continued negotiations, neither UNRWA nor any other relief organization had been able to persuade those in control to permit entry of relief and medical supplies. Meanwhile, fighting, sometimes involving heavy shelling, continued around the besieged camps as more and more camp inhabitants, fled to safer areas. At the end of a three-day visit to Lebanon, during which he had discussions with senior officials of the Lebanese Government and political groups, the Commissioner- General issued a personal appeal for a cease-fire to enable relief to be brought into the camps. Despite this appeal and international concern for the refugees inside the besieged camps, permission to enter the camps continued to be withheld.

25. Concern deepened following further disquieting developments in early February. Another effort to negotiate the entry of relief supplies into Burj el-Barajneh ended when the besieging militia demanded that a strategic hilltop held by Palestinians near Saida be handed over before any relief operation would be allowed, a demand that was beyond the Agency's power to meet. An additional demand was that the Agency should provide equal amounts of assistance to the civilian Lebanese population living on the outskirts of the camps who had also been affected by the fighting and were also in need. Within the next few days a relief convoy was prevented by gunfire from entering Burj el-Barajneh and the supplies were stolen. Another convoy was prevented from entering Rashidieh, Agency commodities were confiscated in Tyre and an Agency store in Saida was looted.

26. Meanwhile, the Commissioner-General's efforts to enlist the support of other organizations within the United Nations system to provide assistance to Lebanese affected by the fighting began to bear fruit. After initial difficulties, UNRWA was permitted to bring supplies into Burj el-Barajneh on 25 February, while at the same time providing supplies contributed by WFP and UNICEF for distribution to the needy Lebanese civilian population around the camp. A similar operation was carried out successfully in Shatila camp on 27 February. Further deliveries were made to Burj el-Barajneh on 3 and 14 March and 23 April and to Shatila on 10 April. The deliveries included supplies donated in kind by the Governments of France, Italy, Austria and Turkey.

27. On 26 February, the Commissioner-General presented a comprehensive appeal to the international community for $20.6 million to finance the emergency aid operations in Lebanon. The appeal was of two parts, one to cover the immediate relief and health needs over the next few months, the other to cover essential repairs as soon as it became possible to carry them out.

28. The main items of expenditure were food supplies ($5.5 million), other relief supplies including blankets, mattresses and kitchen kits ($1.2 million), emergency hospitalization ($1 million), additional temporary staff ($0.4 million), repairs to local hospitals and UNRWA clinics ($1 million), repair and re-equipment of Agency installations ($2.5 million), assistance to refugees to repair shelters ($7.2 million) and repair of camp infrastructure ($0.8 million).

29. There was an immediate and encouraging response to the appeal. At the end of the reporting period, a total of $13.4 million had been pledged or contributed by Governments, the European Economic Community, non-governmental, organizations and individuals. Of this total, $11 million was pledged in cash and $2.4 million in kind. A preliminary financial statement concerning the emergency operation, including a list of contributors, will be contained in the addendum to the present report.

30. Following the breakthrough in February, food relief supplies were distributed to camp inhabitants whenever possible. By the end of the reporting period, six distributions to camps had taken place, four to Burj el-Barajneh and two to Shatila. No relief convoys have yet been permitted into Rashidieh, although a refugees allowed out to obtain supplies some of which have been furnished by UNRWA. The Agency has also continued to give emergency assistance to the many refugees displaced as a result of the fighting. This consisted of an initial supply of blankets, kitchen kits and cleaning, materials and regular supplies of food. At its peak, in May, the Agency was extending assistance to some 47,000 displaced refugees, of whom 21,000 were in the Beirut area, 23,000 in Saida, 1,400 in Tripoli, 1,400 in the Beqa’a valley and 300 in Tyre. By the end of June, with the return of some of the refugees to their camps, the number had fallen to some 32,000.

31. Because of the difficulty of maintaining a distinction between refugees affected directly by the fighting and other Palestine refugees in Lebanon who, because of the prevailing conditions, were finding it increasingly difficult to provide for themselves, the Commissioner-General decided to extend emergency assistance to all Palestine refugees in Lebanon, including those not registered with the Agency. It will be recalled that the Assembly made a similar extension of its assistance in 1982. One distribution, which reached some 245,000 persons, has been completed, a second is under way and a third is envisaged later in the year.

32. As part of its emergency health operation, the Agency has delivered medical supplies to the besieged camps. Once entry becomes possible, it will reactivate clinics. Mobile health teams and temporary clinics set up in rented premises have brought health services to the displaced refugees.

33. Most of the refugee shelters and Agency installations in the two west Beirut camps have been either damaged or destroyed but work on repairs has had to proceed slowly. Although access to the camps is still difficult and security is an ever-present consideration, the work of clearing away the rubble has begun. In addition, a survey team has completed an assessment of damage to Agency facilities and shelters in Shatila and has started a similar survey in Burj el-Barajneh.

34. The success of the Agency's emergency operation owes much to the dedication of its area and international staff. The contribution of the additional international staff assigned to it, including seven staff members specially recruited for short-term service in Lebanon, has been of particular importance. Their services have been invaluable for tasks that area staff members, being mostly Palestinians, were prevented from carrying put. These tasks include supervising the transfer of supplies at the ports, and, more particularly, negotiating and arranging for the smooth passage of convoys to the south and into the camps.

B. Education services

35. The aim of the UNRWA education programme is to provide, within the framework of the curricula prescribed by the host countries, general education, teacher and higher education, and vocational and technical education for Palestine refugees in accordance, with their educational needs, identity and cultural heritage.

1. General education

36. During 1986/87, the Agency provided schooling, for some 350,000 Palestine refugee children through nine grades of elementary and preparatory education in 635 schools. Schools in the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan operated normally throughout the year. In Lebanon, the disturbed situation in the country affected overall school operations to a serious degree. Schools within certain areas of the country, however, notably in the Beqa’a valley and Tripoli, operated normally with only minor, short-lived interruptions of services. In the Beirut area, all schools were inoperative from November 1986 until April 1987 when those in the Sabra quarter resumed. From May, some pupils from the Shatila camp were able to attend school in Sabra. In the Tyre area, schools were inoperative until the beginning of February 1987 when most schools resumed and, by the end of June, only three of the schools in Rashidieh Camp remained closed. In the Saida area, about half of the 21 schools were occupied by displaced refugees until the beginning of April. By 30 June, 65 of the 82 UNRWA schools in Lebanon were operational. Compensation for instruction time lost during the 1986/87 school year was made by extending the working week to six days instead of five, by reducing the spring vacation to a single day and by extending instruction through the summer months. With no fixed time for the end of the school year, it is planned to complete a restricted curriculum before commencing the 1987/88 school year. In the occupied territories of West Bank and the Gaza Strip, despite widespread disturbances affecting school operations in the early months of the year, individual schools were interrupted for only relatively short periods and it was possible to make up for lost time by teaching additional periods. In all areas, except Lebanon where no comparison can be made, students in UNRWA schools performed as well as or better than those in government schools in the state examinations.

37. In the current medium-term plan covering the period 1988-1990, UNRWA has identified priority school construction requirements including the replacement of unsuitable Agency and rented premises, improvement in school facilities and construction of classrooms to avoid triple-shifting in schools. This programme is dependent on specially earmarked contributions, as construction is not provided for in the regular budget. Progress in the construction programme, however, particularly where it relates to the replacement of rented premises, usually results in savings on rents and teachers salaries, since fewer teachers are needed when standard-size classrooms are provided. These advantages are in addition to the improved learning environment that new school premises provide. The construction programme also helps the Agency to keep pace with host country standards.

38. During the year under review, progress was made in school construction. In the Syrian Arab Republic, the construction of one school and four classrooms financed by the Government of Canada, was completed. Four additional classrooms are still under construction. Construction of another school, financed by the Government of the Netherlands, has begun. In Jordan, a second large school financed by two prominent Palestinian brothers was completed and a school financed by the Government of Japan is under construction. In the West Bank, the construction of four new schools is being funded by the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND). Two schools were completed in November 1986, one is still under construction and contractors are being selected to build the fourth. In the Gaza Strip, three classrooms funded by UNDP were completed and 31 funded by AGFUND are under construction. The Near East Council of Churches (NECC) provided funds for three classrooms, one of which has been completed.

39. Crowded classrooms continue to be a problem in UNRWA schools. In the current medium- term plan a reduction in occupancy rates for standard classrooms from 50 to 46 students is envisaged over a period of three years. This will involve, of course, an increase in the number of elementary and preparatory teachers.

2. Training-programmes

40. The Agency's training programmes cover teacher and higher education as well as vocational and technical education. Places were provided for some 4,000 trainees in eight training centres located throughout the UNRWA area of operations (see annex I, table 6).

41. UNRWA continued to provide both pre-service and in-service teacher training. Pre-service training was given to some 1,000 trainees at three training centres, one in Jordan and two at Ramallah in the West Bank, while a variety of in-service training courses was conducted through the education development centres located in each of the five fields of operation. In addition, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provided five fellowships for short training courses in Egypt, Italy and the United Kingdom for UNRWA senior education area staff. UNESCO also provided technical equipment for in-service teacher training in 1986/87 a total of 385 University scholarships were awarded to enable gifted refugee students to continue their education (see annex I, table 7).

42. Within its mandate for providing education to the Palestine refugees, UNRWA places great emphasis on the provision of third level training courses. The primary aim of such courses is to provide the greatest possible number of young refugees with skills that are in demand in the Middle East region and that therefore enable them to gain employment within that area. Secondary benefits of the programme are the support that the graduates can give to their families when they gain employment and the contribution to the economic development of the Middle East that they make by applying their skills within that region.

43. Constant monitoring is maintained to ensure that courses at the UNRWA training centres are relevant to the needs of the region and therefore offer their students the best chances for employment. On the basis of market research in some of the main employing countries, UNRWA visualizes that, in the foreseeable future, development of the training programme will concentrate mainly on the introduction of new courses at a semi- professional level. Concurrent with this will be a further reduction in the level of teacher training, reflecting the current oversupply of teachers in some parts of the UNRWA area of operation. There will also be additional emphasis on expanding the level of training for women at UNRWA centres. At present, apart from teacher training, where more than half the trainees are women, men trainees exceed women by four to one. The Agency is keen to reduce this large discrepancy as quickly as possible by introducing more courses likely to attract female trainees. It therefore plans to introduce new courses over the next three years that reflect the aims referred to above, including completely new courses in nursing and computer science and the extension to training institutes that did not previously offer them of courses in business and office practice, physiotherapy, industrial electronics, auto electrician and medical machine technician skills.

44. Training at the UNRWA centres in the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan proceeded normally throughout the year. In Lebanon, however, the Siblin training centre remained closed, with a few training courses being run in Saida and a small number of trainees being taught at UNRWA centres in the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan. Arrangements are being made, however, to have the Siblin centre ready for resumption of training in the academic year 1987/88 in case the security situation improves to the point where it could be possible to reopen the centre. Tension in the occupied territories disrupted work at UNRWA centres. In the West Bank, all three centres lost between 44 and 52 days' training because of disturbances. Lost training time was made up by extending the academic year and by giving periods of instruction additional to the normal timetable. The Gaza centre lost one training week in April and two in June, when it was closed by military order. The time was made up through additional class periods and the extension of course work through the last two weeks, of the school year, normally assigned to on-the-job training.

45. The Agency continued to receive earmarked contributions in support of its training programmes. The Government of Denmark maintained its support for the two training centres in Ramallah, and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy maintained their support for the Wadi Seer and Gaza training centres, respectively. The Government of Japan provided scholarships through the Japan International Co-operation Agency in 1986 to allow 15 UNRWA vocational training instructors to have three months of training in Japan. It has also provided three specialists for the Wadi Seer training centre in Jordan for the academic year 1986/87 to assist in the auto-mechanic and diesel courses as well as providing equipment for these courses at the centre. In addition, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund contributed an additional $546,000 during the period to enable UNRWA to buy equipment and tools needed for new courses and to re-equip existing courses in all UNRWA training centres, with the exception of Siblin in Lebanon.

C. Health services

46. The UNRWA health care programme, which is community health oriented, provides primary health care for the eligible refugee population. It comprises medical care services (both curative and preventive), environmental health services in camps and nutrition and supplementary feeding to vulnerable population groups. It aims to maintain health services consistent with the humanitarian policies of the United Nations, the basic principles and concepts of the World Health organization and the level of public medical care provided by the host Governments to their own populations. The prime objectives are to promote the health of refugees and meet their basic health needs.

1. Medical care

47. UNRWA medical care services were provided through a network of health centres/points, maternal and child health clinics, specialist and special care, clinics, dental clinics, central and clinical, laboratories, rehabilitation centres, maternity centres and beds reserved at private or voluntary hospitals under contractual agreements.

48. The demand for UNRWA medical care services continued to increase during the period under review (see annex I, table 9). The security situation in Lebanon, however, adversely affected the use of health services, which in, many, instances were interrupted or completely paralyzed due to restrictions on movement of staff refugees and supplies or to the inaccessibility of UNRWA facilities.

49. Implementation of the first phase of the medium-term plan (l987-1989) made possible a number of developments in the Agency-medical care programme. Thirty-seven additional medical, dental, nursing and other support staff posts were established in 1987, making it possible to improve services, at the health centres and to implement new programmes in primary health care. Progress was also made in the construction of health premises. In Jordan a new health centre funded, by the Canadian Government, in Baqa’a camp is expected to, be completed in August 1987, while a similar centre in Marka camp, also funded by Canada, is, expected to be completed in February 1988. In the West Bank, construction of a maternal and, child health centre in Arroub camp and the extension of health centres in Askar and Am’ari camps, all funded by the Canadian Government, will start soon. Additional resources made it possible to reorganize dental services with a view to attaining wider coverage and implementing a "risk approach" strategy directed towards school children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Two additional dental clinics were established in the West Bank, and two in Gaza, one of which is mobile. Dental units were also donated by the Pontifical Mission, the Near East Council of Churches (NECC), the British Embassy in Amman and a local Palestinian businessman. Finally, additional resources made it possible to upgrade facilities and equipment. A new laboratory was established in Jordan and another is under establishment in the Syrian Arab Republic. New equipment, including basic radiographic and electrocardiogram machines, was received as a result of generous donations from the Canadian Government, WHO, the OPEC Fund, NECC, and other organizations and individuals.

50. The continuously rising cost of curative medical care services in the area of operations had its impact on UNRWA expenditure. In Gaza, where the Agency operates six maternity centres and runs a tuberculosis hospital at Bureij jointly with the Israeli Civil Administration's Public Health Department, no subsidized general or surgical beds have been available for some years. To meet this need, the Agency has arranged to subsidize 20 beds at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital effective July 1986. The number of subsidized beds was increased to 35 in March 1987 and a further increase is planned in 1988. Arrangements were also made for patients from Gaza to share the West Bank quota of 100 subsidized beds at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem and arrangements were made for the referral of patients from Gaza to St. John's Ophthalmic Hospital in the West Bank. The old agreement between UNRWA and the Lutheran World Federation concerning use of Augusta Victoria Hospital was brought up-to-date by a new agreement which, inter alia, provided for an increase in UNRWA’s subsidy rates for hospital beds and out-patient services. The Agency was also obliged to increase the subsidy rates it pays for hospital beds in the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon. In Jordan, there is a pressing need for additional hospitalization support for needy refugees.

51. Preventive medical care services continued to be a major component of the Agency's primary, health care programme. These services comprise epidemiology, communicable disease control, maternal and child health, school health and health education.

52. The incidence of communicable diseases continued to show a steady decreasing trend, due in part to the impact of the expanded programme of immunization significantly supported by UNICEF and in part to the use of effective intervention strategies supported by health education activities. An assessment of enteric diseases in the Syrian Arab Republic and Gaza was carried out by a WHO consultant whose recommendations will be applied Agency-wide. No major epidemics of communicable diseases were reported during the. period under review except an outbreak of measles that affected refugee children in Gaza during January to April 1987. However, the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases among the refugee population represents a new challenge that is receiving more recognition and planning. In this connection, two consultants on diabetes and respiratory diseases have been requested from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (WHO/ EMRO). Their recommendations will form the basis for new intervention strategies that will be integrated within the primary health care programme.

53. Successful monitoring of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers continued to be one of the major achievements of the UNRWA primary health care programme. In four of the five fields of UNRWA operations, the refugee population has already bettered the target of 50 deaths per thousand live births set by WHO for developing countries by the turn of the century. In the West Bank camps, where infant mortality statistics have been closely monitored for over two decades, the rate in 1986 declined to 27 per thousand compared with 84 per thousand 10 years ago. In order to increase further the effectiveness of this programme, a "risk approach" strategy was implemented in the West Bank in collaboration with WHO and the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. This strategy aims at improving care for all, but pays special attention to those in greatest need by identifying risk factors affecting the health of the mother and child and applying appropriate interventions. In the light of the encouraging experience in the West Bank, plans are under way to extend this strategy to other fields. More emphasis is being placed on increasing the coverage of the service through expansion of community outreach programmes. A second mobile health team was established to service the six maternal and child health care sub-centres in Gaza through the sustained support of Radda Barnen, and a new health point was established in the Hebron area. More maternal and child health care sub-centres are planned in all fields of operations, subject to funding of construction costs.

54. During the period under review greater emphasis was placed on promotion of UNRWA family planning activities, which continued to be provided in Gaza through the Jordanian Family Planning and Protection Association (Jerusalem), supported by a health and family life education programme (funded by Radda Barnen) at UNRWA girls' schools. Limited family planning activities were also provided in the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan.

55. The reviews and consultations carried out in co-ordination with other United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations to assess the psychological problems of refugee children, referred to in last year's report, 2/ culminated in the implementation of the first phase of the Radda Barnen mental health project in Jabal el-Hussein and Marka camps in Jordan. This research-intervention project has been extended for two years to October 1988. Additionally, the WHO Regional Adviser on mental health visited Jordan in January 1987 to advise on a research intervention project in Baqa’a camp. Financial support is being sought to implement his recommendations.

56. UNRWA nurses in all fields have participated in a community health project, through which basic, family and community data is collected and analyzed in order to identify present and potential problems and situations that might affect the health status of the refugees. These problems are then assigned priorities and appropriate interventions are planned with the people and communities concerned. The programme has been well accepted by the refugees. UNRWA nurses have also organized meetings with selected women from the camps for the purpose of gaining their co-operation and assistance in providing health education to families in camps as well as in promoting relevant health care activities. The initial results of these meetings have been encouraging.

2. Environmental-health

57. Basic community sanitation services provided by the Agency in the camps comprised the provision of a potable water supply, sanitary disposal of wastes, drainage of storm water, latrine facilities and control of insect and rodent vectors of disease. There has been a steady improvement in the sanitary conditions in several camps, primarily through community participation and continued support by municipalities, local and village councils and host Governments.

58. The Agency continued to lend financial and technical support to self-help activities such as construction of drains, laying of sewers and paving of pathways. Facilities for refuse collection And removal have been improved largely through the co-operation of the local municipalities.

59. In Jordan, the Government is providing indoor water taps to refugee shelters from the recently completed water augmentation schemes at Baqa’a, Marka, Suf, Jarash and Husn camps. In the West Bank, indoor water connection facilities were provided to all shelters at Deir Ammar camp from the Israeli regional water distribution network and part of a water augmentation scheme for Dheisheh camp was satisfactorily completed. An Agency subsidized municipal water supply scheme for Sbeineh camp in the Syrian Arab Republic has also been completed and shelters are gradually being provided with indoor water taps. A joint water and sewerage scheme to provide proper shelter connections has been drawn up by UNICEF for Qabr-Essit camp located within the Damascus area.

60. The increased water supplies in most camps have further emphasized the need for complementary sewerage facilities. Although the Agency continued to rely on self-help schemes to reduce the waste water problem, more progress is being made through the assistance of host Governments that are increasingly including refugee camps in their regional sewerage schemes. In Jordan, underground sewerage schemes with sewage treatment facilities are nearing completion at Baqa’a, Marka, Zarqa and Irbed camps. The surface drainage system at Talbieh camp has been further improved. Because of the ongoing hostilities, there has been very little progress in Lebanon. However, encouraging developments are taking place in Gaza, where flat terrain, sand dunes and depleting sources of water have created acute problems. A number of schemes have been planned by UNDP and Save the Children (US), which, when completed, will provide terminal sewers to which Beach, Jabalia and Rafah camps would be connected.

3. Nutrition and supplementary feeding

61. A research, education and intervention strategy has been developed that aims at the integration of the Agency’s nutritional programmes, including the supplementary feeding programme, with primary health care activities. The first phase of the project consisted of a pilot project started in all fields in September 1986. The project aimed at introducing a nutritional surveillance system in child health clinics and nutrition rehabilitation centres to help in identifying individual cases who are at risk and to implement a programme of prevention based on the information collected. A preliminary assessment of the pilot project, which was carried out in April 1987, yielded very encouraging results. The full integration of the supplementary feeding programme within the primary health care activities will be carried out only after careful appraisal of the pilot project.

4. Medical and paramedical education and training

62. The Agency intensified its in-service training programme and developed further its education programmes for its staff. The Agency was greatly assisted through the provision of scholarships and fellowships for higher and post-graduate education by non-governmental organizations and the WHO/EMRO. Details of these scholarships and fellowships are set out in annex I, table 10.

D. Relief services

63. The Agency's relief services consist of a programme for special hardship cases (SHC) and a general welfare programme.

64. In order to qualify for assistance under the SHC programme a family must be indigent and have no male member between the ages of 18 and 60-years capable of earning a living. Families applying for this assistance are subject to strict verification and, once enrolled in the programme, to annual verification.

65. Under the SHC programme, eligible refugees receive food, blankets, clothing, small amounts of cash aid, cash grants for self-support projects, assistance in the repair or reconstruction of shelters and preferential access to vocational and teacher training. At 30 June 1987, 29,131 families representing 117,987 refugees were recorded as special hardship cases. For details see annex I, table 3.

66. The types of food and the amount distributed to SHC families in 1986 are set out in annex I, table 4. In 1986, the Agency provided direct cash assistance, amounting to $412,945. It assisted 594 families in repairing or reconstructing their shelters at a cost of $297,392 and provided 46 families with cash grants amounting to $169,158 to assist them in becoming partially or wholly self-supporting.

67. The general welfare programme comprises welfare casework, women's activities, adult training courses, education and training of the disabled, promotion of income-generating projects, assistance to refugees in emergency situations and provision of facilities for pre-school activities. The Agency also encourages but does not organize or administer youth activities. All eligible refugees may benefit from the welfare programme.

68. In 1986, some 4,017 young men and 614 women participated in sporting, cultural and educational activities provided for them in 42 centres. The youth activities centre are organized and supervised by the members with assistance and support from the Agency and the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations. The women's activities centres are organized and supervised by the Agency. Four youth activities centres in the West Bank (Kalandia, Dheisheh, Aida and Balata) and one in the Gaza Strip (Rafah) remained closed by order of the Israeli authorities for actions they regarded as hostile. They also continued to withhold permission for the extension of the centre at Khan Younis.

69. One-year training courses in carpentry, sewing and embroidery are run by the Agency for refugees, mostly young people who would otherwise not receive further education and training; 28 young men and 922 women attended these courses during the past year.

70. In 1986, the Agency provided education and training for 240 disabled children in specialized institutions in the area. Of these, 96 attended the Training Centre for the Blind in Gaza, which is operated by the Agency and financed mainly by the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. The Centre continues to play an important role in the Gaza Strip in the provision of education and training for the blind.

71. In Jordan, day-care centres for mentally disabled children in Suf and Jerash camps administered jointly by UNRWA and OXFAM (UK) have found strong community support. OXFAM (UK) meets the recurrent costs. Contributions towards the non-recurrent costs have been received from the local communities and individuals, international and local non-governmental organizations and the diplomatic community. The local communities have also made major contributions in the form of materials and volunteer help. The construction of a third centre in Husn camp has just been completed and will open in July 1987. The construction and recurrent costs of this centre will be met by the Mennonite Central Committee.

72. In the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, projects for assisting refugees to establish or develop small enterprises have been started. The projects are funded by Co-operation for Development (CD) and administered jointly with UNRWA. Loans will be made to project beneficiaries from funds provided by CD and administered by local banks.

73. Artificial limbs and other prosthetic devices were given to 726 disabled refugees. Eighteen destitute persons, 67 aged people and 337 orphans were cared for in institutions run by voluntary agencies, mainly at no cost to the Agency. Some 162 tons of used clothing contributed by voluntary agencies were distributed to SHC and welfare cases.

74. The Agency has continued to make representations to the Israeli authorities to ensure proper housing for families affected by demolitions carried out in Beach camp in 1971 and 1983. As at 30 June 1987, 14 families affected by the 1971 demolitions were still living in conditions of hardship. The Israeli authorities continue to assure the Agency that a solution has been developed for these families, but it remains to be implemented. Further details are set out in the report of the Secretary-General on Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip (A/42/507). Of the 35 families affected by the demolitions in 1983, 15 remain in temporary shelters on or near the sites of their demolished shelters. The Israeli authorities have stated that they would be willing to consider allocating land to these families in a housing project but it would not be in the project nearest to the site of their old shelters. Further details are set out in the report of the Secretary-General, referred to above.

75. The road construction that had led to the demolition of refugees' shelters in Jaramana camp, Syrian Arab Republic and which was referred to in last years report, 3/ has been suspended and no further demolitions have taken place. The families affected have been paid compensation and have found alternative accommodations in areas where the Agency is able to provide normal services.

76. In 1986 after prolonged negotiations, the Governments of Egypt and Israel agreed on a solution to the problem of the 4,600 refugees left on the Egyptian side of the international boundary at Rafah when Israel withdrew from the Sinai in April 1982. The solution provides for a phased return of the refugees to the Gaza Strip for settlement in the Tel al-Sultan housing project near Rafah. Financial help will be given to the refugees by the Egyptian Government, while the Israeli authorities have offered to provide land and other facilities. The first phase of the plan was implemented over the summer months of 1986, when heads of families in groups of 25 visited the plots assigned to them in the Tel al-Sultan housing project and registered their belongings with the Israeli authorities. The second phase, the construction of their homes by the heads of family, has been temporarily delayed. The Agency has made provision for education and health care within its regular programmes for the refugees upon their return. In the meantime, the Agency continues to provide them with services, including elementary and preparatory, education for some l,200 refugee children and basic health care focusing mainly on mother and child health services. These activities are supervised by regular visits from the Gaza field office staff. Rations, blankets and clothing are distributed to the majority of these refugees, most of whom are unemployed and living in hardship.

E. Legal matters

1. Agency staff

77. The number of staff arrested and detained without charge or trial has not increased in the period under review, however, in Lebanon there has been a considerable increase in the number kidnapped (see annex I, table 11). The Agency remains unable to obtain adequate and timely information on the reasons for the arrest and detention of its staff members. In the absence of such information, the Agency is unable to ascertain whether the staff members' official functions are involved or to ensure that, their rights and duties flowing from the Charter of the United Nations, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of 1946 (General Assembly resolution 22 A (I)) and the pertinent Staff Regulations and Rules of UNRWA, are duly observed.

78. There has been no improvement as regards access to Agency staff in detention. The Agency continued to have access in the West Bank, but not in the other fields of its operations.

79. The Agency has encountered increasing difficulty in its operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a result of changes in the procedures for the movement of its staff and their effects. Three area staff members are still prevented from entering the occupied territories on duty travel and some staff have been denied entry even when in possession of permits to do so. In addition, staff have been subjected to very substantial delays on various occasions even though their papers were in order. The Israeli authorities have also prevented UNRWA staff from using its courier car to and from the West Bank terminal, except for one international staff member who acts as a pouch officer. Having failed to achieve pragmatic solutions to these difficulties, despite its best efforts, the Agency has taken- these matters up formally with the authorities and has requested that prompt action be taken to ensure that appropriate facilities are provided to enable it to perform its tasks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities, while invoking security considerations, have agreed to examine the difficulties; a positive outcome is still awaited.

80. The Agency has continued to take up with the Israeli authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip their practice of summoning its staff for interrogation during office hours without adequate notice. In one case, a staff member in the Gaza Strip was obliged to report on six separate occasions to retrieve his identity card, which had been removed from him during an interrogation.

2. Agency services and premises

81. The main entrance to the Balata camp remains barricaded and a new barricade has been erected at a secondary entrance to Dheisheh camp.

82. There have been some serious incursions into Agency premises in the reporting period. Israeli military authorities twice entered the Ramallah men's Teacher Training Centre and on the second occasion, in April 1987, did so by forcing a locked gate. A number of trainees who were inside were beaten by the military personnel who entered the premises and who, in the course of a search of the centre, also caused damage to Agency property. UNRWA has protested this action and has pointed out that it only serves to escalate tension and to undermine the efforts of Agency staff to maintain discipline. It has also protested the unauthorized use by the Israeli military authorities of an UNRWA school in the West Bank as an interrogation centre and has called upon the Israeli authorities to respect the privileges and immunities of the Agency and its premises.

83. In last year's report, 4/ attention was drawn to the increase in the number of refugee shelters sealed or demolished for punitive reasons. There has been no relaxation in this policy during the reporting period. In the West Bank, 10 Agency-built rooms and 38 privately-built rooms have been sealed, affecting 25 families and 194 persons, and in the Gaza Strip, two Agency-built rooms and eight privately-built rooms were demolished on punitive grounds, affecting three families and 13 persons. 5/ [The Agency has protested these actions as being incompatible with articles. 33 and 53 of the Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 6/ and with the legal and human rights of the refugees.]

84. The Agency has failed, despite numerous legal decisions in its favor, to obtain possession of one of its premises in the Bureij camp in the Gaza Strip, which had been occupied by a private person since 1981. The Agency has requested the assistance of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the pertinent authorities urgently take the necessary measures to secure the restoration of these premises to the Agency.

85. The Lebanese army continues to occupy the Ariha school building in Shatila camp, despite continuing efforts to have them removed.

3. Claims against Governments

86. The Agency regrets that, despite its efforts, no progress has been made with regard to its various claims against Governments.


1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-first Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/41/13/Add.1 and Add. 1/Corr.1).

2/ Ibid. (A/41/13 and Corr.1), para. 79.

3/ Ibid., para. 100.

4/ Ibid., para. 114.

5/ For further information on the demolition of refugee shelters in the Gaza Strip, see the report of the Secretary-General on Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip (A/42/507).

6/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973, p. 287.


Statistical information*


1. Number of registered persons

2. Distribution of registered population

3. Number and distribution of Special Hardship Cases

4. Food commodities distributed to each Special Hardship Case person receiving rations in 1986

5. Distribution of refugee pupils receiving education in UNRWA schools


1. Growth of UNRWA school population: elementary and preparatory cycles 1950/87


6. Training places in UNRWA training centres

7. University scholarship holders by faculty and country of study

8. Number of beneficiaries of the UNRWA supplementary feeding programmes

9. Medical care services

10. Fellowships completed or started by staff members of the Department of Health during the period 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1987


2. Incidence trends of selected communicable diseases

3. Infant mortality rate, West Bank camp population 1975-1986


11. Staff members arrested and detained (1 July 1986-30 June 1987)

(a) UNRWA Department of Education, Statistical Yearbook, 1985-86;

(b) Annual Report of the Director of Health, 1986.

For more detailed information on the financing of the Agency's programme, see the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 1986 and the report of the Board of Auditors (Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 5C (A/42/5/Add.3)).


* Further statistical information on UNRWA education and health programmes is given in the following UNRWA publications:

Table 1

Number of registered persons a/

(As at 30 June each year)
Field 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980

Syrian Arab


West Bank

Gaza Strip
    127 600

82 194

506 200


198 227
100 820

88 330

502 135


214 701
136 561

115 043

613 743


255 542
159 810

135 971

688 089


296 953
175 958

158 717

506 038

272 692

311 814
196 855

184 042

625 857

292 922

333 031
226 554

209 362

716 372

324 035

367 995
263 599

244 626

799 724

357 704

427 892
278 609

257 989

845 542

373 586

445 397
Total914 221 b/905 9861 120 8891 280 8231 425 2191 623 7071 844 3182 093 5452 201 123

a/ These statistics are based on UNRWA’s registration records, which are updated continually. The number of registered refugees present in the Agency’s area of operations, however, is almost certainly less than the population recorded. The Agency’s budgeted expenditure is based not on the registration records but on the projected numbers of beneficiaries of its services. In 1986/87, 353,500 refugees were enrolled in education or training programmes, 1.8 million were eligible for health care and 117,987 destitute persons received special hardship assistance.

b/ This total excludes 45,800 persons receiving relief in Israel, who were the responsibility of UNRWA until June 1952.

Table 2

Distribution of registered population

(As at 30 June 1987)
Number of
Total camp
population a/
Registered persons not in camps
Percentage of
not in camps

Syrian Arab


West Bank

Gaza Strip
278 609

257 989

845 542

373 586

445 397




143 809

75 208

208 716

94 824

244 416
134 800

182 781

636 826

278 762

200 981




2 201 123
766 973
1 434 150

a/ It is estimated that a further 52,000 persons, who are not registered refugees, live in camps. About 37,000 of these are persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 hostilities.

Table 3

Number and distribution of Special Hardship Cases

(As at 30 June 1987)
Number of persons
Number of families
Receiving rations
rations a/
Percentage of refugee population

Syrian Arab


West Bank

Gaza Strip
7 483

3 962

5 076

5 092

7 518
28 256

11 381

22 383

18 368

30 702

1 035

1 863

1 952

1 787
28 516

12 416

24 246

20 320

32 489




29 131
111 090
6 897
117 987

a/ Includes children under one year of age, men serving compulsory military service or imprisoned, students studying away from home etc.

Table 4

Food commodities distributed to each Special Hardship Case person
receiving rations in 1986

(In kilograms)

beef or sardines
Tomato paste

Syrian Arab


West Bank

Gaza Strip

































Table 5

Distribution of refugee pupils receiving education in UNRWA schools

(As at October 1986)
Number of UNRWA schools
Number of teachers
Number of
pupils in elementary classes b/
Number of
pupils in preparatory classes b/
Total number
of refugee

Syrian Arab


West Bank

Gaza Strip




1 199

1 539

3 702

1 304

2 405
12 032

17 901

46 617

13 154

32 688
11 449

16 992

44 772

15 310

29 844
23 481

34 893

91 389

28 464

62 532
5 396

8 818

22 994

5 486

12 817
5 125

7 492

21 607

6 138

11 557
10 521

16 760

44 601

11 624

24 374
34 002 c/

51 653

135 990

40 088

86 906
Total63510 149122 392118 367240 75955 51152 369107 880348 639

a/ Excluding 102,637 refugee pupils attending elementary, preparatory and secondary government and private schools.

b/ Including non-eligible children attending UNRWA schools, who now number 42,619. Of these, 16,818 are in the Gaza Strip where all refugee children have always been regarded in practice as eligible for education services.

c/ In October 1986 no enrolment figures were received for Tyre area. This figure comprises the actual figures for the whole of Lebanon excluding Tyre and an estimate for the Tyre area.

Chart 1

Growth of UNRWA School Population
Elementary and Preparatory Cycles

Table 6

Training places in UNRWA training centres

(Academic year 1986/87)
West Bank
Centre a/
Damascus Vocational Training
Training Centre
Wadi Seer Training Centre
Kalandia Vocational Training Centre
Ramallah Women's Training Centre
Ramallah Men's
Teacher Training Centre
Gaza Voca- tional Training Centre
A.Vocational and technical education

1. Post-
level b/
2. Post-
level c/
















2 142


2 328

1 320
Total 256 - 667 77 110 270 750 22 480 - - 328 96 -592 -2 951 697 3 648
B.Pre-service teacher training - - - - 110 190 - - - - - 300 250 - - - 360 490 850
256 - 667 77 220

750 22 480

- 628 346 -592 -3 3111 187 4 498

Table 7

University scholarship holders by faculty and country of study

(Academic year 1986/87)
Syrian Arab
Others a/

Medical and

Arts and































a/ Other countries were: Algeria (one male student), Iraq (three male and two female students), Democratic Yemen (one male student), Turkey (four male students) and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (one male and one female student).

Table 8

Number of beneficiaries of the UNRWA supplementary
feeding programmes a/

(1 July 1986-30 June 1987)
Syrian Arab Republic
Jordan b/
Bank c/


Mid-day meal for
beneficiaries below 15 years

Milk programme for
beneficiaries below 3 years

Extra dry rations:?
5 268

10 950
4 081

13 271
7 033

29 614
6 796

10 665
6 554

25 276
29 731

85 397
Pregnant and
nursing women

TB out-patients

1 756

4 607

10 874

6 595

12 965

36 797


a/ The figures in this table are average monthly numbers, except for the midday meal programme, which is an average daily number.

b/ Includes 1,946 displaced persons who were given hot meals and 2,143 who were given milk on behalf of the Government of Jordan.

c/ Includes 243 who were given hot meals from voluntary agencies.

Table 9

Medical care services

(As at 30 June 1987)
Type of service
Lebanon c/
A.Curative Services
1.Out-patient care
Number of patients
Number of attendances
Medical treatments a/
Dental treatment

In-patient care

Hospital beds available b/
Number of patients admitted
Annual patient/days per
1,000 population ratio
178 487

712 840
23 654

11 239

114 965

715 453
50 076

4 646

276 445

1 223 154
73 289


121 641

795 887
38 630

12 441

151 889

1 407 892
36 651

6 251

843 448

4 855 226
222 300

35 527

1 015
B.Preventive services

1. Maternal and child health care
Pregnant women
(Average monthly attendance)
Children below 3 years
(average attendance) e/

8 063
1 392

14 951
3 054

32 662
2 009

18 594
5 420

35 039
12 978

109 309
2. Expanded programme of immunization
(number of full primary series)
Triple (DPT) vaccine
Polio vaccine
BCG vaccine
Measles vaccine
4 196
4 094
5 064
4 812
5 989
5 938
6 233
6 120
13 865
13 861
14 822
13 890
6 798
6 153
5 767
6 453
15 849
15 575
13 942
15 118
46 699
45 625
45 828
45 893
3.School health
Number of school entrants
Number of booster vaccinations
2 294
7 139
7 112
15 727
12 721
36 147
3 513
14 973
10 991
39 166
36 631
113 152

a/ Includes attendance’s for medical consultations, injections, dressings and eye treatment.

b/ Information restricted to statistics from UNRWA hospitals/maternity centres and beds utilized by UNRWA against contractual agreements.

c/ Due to the prevailing situation, June statistics for MCH and in-patient were not received. Figures were estimated.

d/ Revised agreements were concluded to fit prevailing circumstances in Lebanon. The number of beds was not stable over the review period.

e/ Health monitoring is monthly for age group 0-1 year, bimonthly for age group 1-2 years and trimonthly for age group 2-3 years.

Table 10

Fellowships completed or started by staff members of the Department of
Health during the period 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1987
Training course
No. of
World Health Organization (EMRO)Master's degree in community healthMedical officer
3 United Kingdom
2 Lebanon
1 year
Community health nursingNurse
1 United Kingdom
1 Egypt
1 year
Sanitary engineeringSanitation
United Kingdom1 year
Environmental sanitationSanitation
Egypt7 months
Health training
and research
Medical officer
United Kingdom3 months
Community preven- tive dentistryDental surgeon
United Kingdom3 months
Maternal and
child nutrition
Medical officer
Netherlands5 months
Health services managementMedical officer
United Kingdom2 months
Community healthMedical officer
Yugoslavia3 months
Procurement, sto- rage and distribu- tion of drugsPharmacist
Netherlands6 weeks

Mother and
child care
Medical officer
United Kingdom15 months
APHEDA (Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad)Master's degree in community healthMedical officer
Australia25 months
Community health nursingNurse
Australia1 year
British Save the
Children Fund (BSCF)
Community health nursingNurse
Egypt1 year
British CouncilSanitary engineeringSanitation
United Kingdom1 year
Total 22

Chart 2

Incidence trends of selected
communicable diseases
(rate per 1000,000 eligible population)

Chart 3


Table 11

Staff members arrested and detained

(1 July 1986-30 June 1987)
Syrian Arab
Arrested or detained and
released without charge
or trial

Charged, tried and

Still detained








52 a/


8 b/

a/ Forty-nine kidnapped by militias and three understood to be detained by the Syrian forces in Lebanon.

b/ Four kidnapped by militias and four understood to be detained by the Syrian forces in Lebanon.


Pertinent records of the General Assembly
and other United Nations bodies a/

1. General Assembly resolutions

Resolution No.

194 (III)
212 (III)
302 (IV)
393 (V)
513 (VI)
614 (VIII)
720 (VIII)
818 (IX)
916 (X)
1018 (XI)
1191 (XII)
1315 (XIII)
1456 (XIV)
1604 (XV)
1725 (XVI)
1856 (XVII)
1912 (XVIII)
2002 (XIX)
2052 (XX)
2154 (XXI)
2252 (ES-V)
2341 (XXII)
2452 (XXIII)
2535 (XXIV)
Date of adoption

11 December 1948
19 November 1948
8 December 1949
2 December 1950
26 January 1952
6 November 1952
27 November 1953
4 December 1954
3 December 1955
28 February 1957
12 December 1957
12 December 1958
9 December 1959
21 April 1961
20 December 1961
20 December 1962
3 December 1963
10 February 1965
15 December 1965
17 November 1966
4 July 1967
19 December 1967
19 December 1968
10 December 1969
Resolution No.

2656 (XXV)
2672 (XXV)
2728 (XXV)
2791 (XXVI)
2792 A to E (XXVI)
2963 A to F (XXVII)
2964 (XXVII)
3089 A to E (XXVIII)
3090 (XXVIII)
3330 (XXIX)
3331 (XXIX)
3410 (XXX)
31/15 A to E
32/90 A to F
33/112 A to F
34/52 A to F
35/13 A to F
36/146 A to H
37/120 A to K
38/83 A to K
39/99 A to K
40/165 A to K
41/69 A to K
Date of adoption

7 December 1970
8 December 1970
15 December 1970
6 December 1971
6 December 1971
13 December 1972
13 December 1972
7 December 1973
7 December 1973
17 December 1974
17 December 1974
8 December 1975
24 November l976
13 December 1977
18 December 1978
23 November 1979
3 November 1980
16 December 1981
16 December 1982
15 December 1983
14 December 1984
16 December 1985
19 December 1986

2. General Assembly decision

Decision number Date of adoption

36/462 16 March 1982

3. Reports of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA

4. Audited financial statements

5. Reports of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine

6. Reports of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA

7. Reports of the Secretary-General


a/ A list of pertinent reports and other documents of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies concerning UNRWA (notably those prior to 1985) may be found in the publication UNRWA at the United Nations 1948-1985, available from the UNRWA Public Information Division.

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