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16 March 2009
Statement in support of UNRWA by the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, issued through his Spokeswoman
New York,17 March 2009
The Secretary-General stands strongly by UNRWA and its staff, who work courageously under very difficult conditions to provide a crucial humanitarian lifeline to the people of the Gaza Strip. UNRWA’s activities are very closely followed by the international community and its donors, including the United States. The Agency is transparent about its activities and maintains strict control over contributions to ensure aid goes directly to civilians in need.
UNRWA maintains its primary banking relationships -– and all donor contributions –- with reputable international banks, including JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas and Bank Austria Vienna. The Agency distributes on a weekly basis to field offices operationally required funds to banks in the relevant area of operations. In this context, UNRWA uses the Arab Bank for transactions in the West Bank and the Commercial Bank of Syria, which until recently held a State monopoly on all banking operations in Syria and remains the only bank to provide the full extent of services throughout the country, for local transactions, such as the payment of staff salary.