Question of Palestine home
30 June 1955
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR
OF THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND
WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES
IN THE NEAR EAST
Covering the period 1 July 1954 to 30 June 1955
OFFICIAL RECORDS: TENTH SESSION
SUPPLEMENT No. 15 (A/2978)
New York, 1955
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. THE AGENCY'S TASKS......................................... 1
II. THE PROVISION OF RELIEF................................ 2
Registration and numbers............................... 2
Food ................................................. 2
Shelter............ ................................... 3
Health ............. .................................. 3
Water............... .................................. 4
Welfare .................................... .......... 4
The continuing cost of relief ........ .... ........... 4
III. PROJECTS FOR ASSISTING THE REFUGEES TO BECOME
IV. EDUCATION AND TRAINING .............................. 6
V. FINANCES.............................................. 7
VI. OTHER MATTERS
Claimants for relief ................................. 8
Relationship with Governments ........................ 8
United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine.. 8
The special situation in Gaza......................... 8
VII. SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS.................................. 9
Number of refugees and rations distributed ... 10
Distribution of refugees according to age and
country of residence as at 30 June 1955................... 10
1. Organization and staff .......................... 11
2. Clinics, hospitals and laboratories.............. 11
3. Maternal and child health........................ 12
4. School health.................................... 12
5. Nutrition ....................................... 12
6. Special programmes .............................. 13
7. Health education ................................ 13
8. Epidemiology..................................... 14
9. Insect and malaria control....................... 14
10. Environmental sanitation......................... 15
11. Medical education and training .................. 15
12. Medical and sanitary supplies.................... 16
1. General .................................................. 16
2. Group activities ......................................... 16
3. Case work ................................................ 16
4. Voluntary agencies........................................ 17
5. Staff training ............................................ 17
1. The economic basis of self-support ...................... 18
2. Self-support projects in Jordan.......................... 18
3. Self-support projects in Syria ....................... . 20
4. Self-support projects in Egypt and the Gaza district .... 21
5. Placement service ....................................... 21
6. Summary ........................................... ..... 22
DUCATION AND TRAINING
1. General ................................................. 25
2. Elementary education ................................. .. 26
3. Secondary education .................................... 27
4. University education ..................................... 27
5. Fundamental education .................................... 27
6. Vocational training .................................... 28
1. Financial statements .................................... 30
2. General financial requirements .......................... 31
3. Proposed budget for the year 1955-1956 .................. 32
4. Financing the 1955-1956 budget .......................... 33
EGAL ASPECTS OF THE WORK OF THE AGENCY
1. Legal status of the Agency .............................. 33
2. General legal activities and problems ................... 34
3. Legal work in the various host countries ................ 35
O-OPERATION WITH OTHER UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS
1. General ................................................. 36
2. United Nations bodies ................................... 36
3. Specialized agencies .................................. . 37
(insert at end of volume)
1. Sketch of the Middle East showing boundaries and/or
2. Sketch showing UNRWA's camps and projects in Lebanon and
3. Sketch showing UNRWA's camps and projects in Jordan, Gaza and
1. In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 21 of resolution
of 8 December 1949 and of paragraph 10 of resolution
of 4 December 1954, the following report on the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the year ending 30 June 1955 is submitted to the General Assembly. A detailed description of the origin of the Agency and of its mission and work prior to 1 July 1954 will be found in earlier reports and United Nations documents.
The present report consists of a general section and a series of annexes dealing in more detail with the different functional activities.
I. THE AGENCY'S TASKS
2. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has entered its sixth year of existence. In his report to the ninth session of the General Assembly, the Director recalled the functions of relief and rehabilitation which were assigned to the Agency at the time of its establishment in December 1949. He also described the partial reorientation of the Agency's programmes which had taken place over the years as it became increasingly clear that the economic, political and social obstacles to rehabilitation were more serious than had been anticipated and that the need for relief services would continue for a prolonged period.
3. At its ninth session, the General Assembly extended the Agency's mandate, which was scheduled to terminate on 30 June 1955, for a period of five years ending 30 June 1960. This decision has given UNRWA the opportunity to organize its work more efficiently and economically. Longer-term planning has also brought to light the desirability of certain changes in emphasis and of improvement in the standards of services which will be referred to in detail in later sections of the present report.
4. The tasks presently assigned to the Agency were summed up in the special report of the Director and Advisory Commission to the ninth session
) The continuing long-term task which aims at assisting the refugees to become self-supporting; and
) The temporary task of providing subsistence, medical care and shelter for the refugees.
5. The Agency's work in pursuance of these tasks during the past year is described in sections II, III and IV below. The activities of the Agency are extremely diverse in scope and in kind, but are in many respects complementary. The distribution of food, the health services and the education programme help to sustain the refugee population--numbering over 900,000 people, half of whom are children under 15--both physically and mentally; improved shelter not only meets an evident material need but also stimulates the refugee's desire to obtain a better standard of life by his own efforts; community welfare centres help to alleviate some of the misery of mass unemployment; grants are made available to refugees who wish to establish themselves in trade or agriculture; whenever possible, houses are built and lands developed to provide work and a living for some of those at present unemployed and eager to work. In the field of longer-term planning, larger self-support projects are being studied in a search for cultivable land which could, in future years, be made available to those refugees wishing it. The opportunities for refugees to become self-supporting are certainly not increasing as rapidly as the General Assembly might wish. However, these programmes, if pursued with patience, should gradually give more and more refugees an opportunity to play a part in the economic and cultural development of the Near East, with advantage to themselves and to the whole area, and without prejudice to their rights to repatriation or compensation referred to in resolutions of the General Assembly.
6. In large measure, the Agency's programmes depend for their existence and success on the approval or support of the host Governments. In some cases, Agency and governmental services are integrated; the health services of both in Gaza for example, serve refugees and non-refugees alike. In other cases, for example in the field of secondary education, government facilities are largely used by the Agency against repayment. Also, the opportunities given for refugees to find work in the local economies help them to supplement relief with earnings. Although it is not the purpose of this report to give an account of governmental activities as such, they should not be forgotten when the Agency's work is considered.
II. THE PROVISION OF RELIEF
7. The year under review has witnessed some improvements in the standards of services provided by the Agency. These have been mainly qualitative and have been in conformity with the policy accepted by the General Assembly at its ninth session to maintain the current standards of relief, making such small improvements as might be possible within the approved budget.
REGISTRATION AND NUMBERS
8. Table 1 of annex A to the present report shows that the number of refugees registered with the Agency has increased from 887,058 to 905,986 during the year under review. Apart from the results of natural increase, which has been noted in previous reports as a major factor influencing all aspects of the Agency's work, there has been no major change in the distribution of refugees.
9. It has been possible to make some progress in dealing with the matter of improper registrations, which was referred to in last year's report.
The Egyptian authorities have given the Agency assistance in this matter in Gaza. The establishment of an equitable control of registrations there has resulted in the deletion of the names of a substantial number of those not entitled to relief, while enabling rations to be given to needy refugees not previously receiving them. The operation of the registration systems in use in Lebanon and Syria has been continued substantially unchanged. The Agency has been assisted by the Governments in each of those countries, and it is believed that further improvements will be possible in the efficiency of the systems. Although the situation in Jordan showed no real improvement during the period under review, there were indications at the end of the period that the Government would be prepared to co-operate in measures which the Agency had proposed. The lack of co-operation from the Government in the past and the active opposition of the refugees for several years made it impossible to operate in Jordan any system to determine the [i:bona fides] of ration recipients and to delete from the ration rolls the names of persons not entitled to relief. This matter, and the consequential limitation in the distribution of food to children, was commented upon in last year's special report of the Director and Advisory Commission,
as well as during the discussions in the Ad Hoc Political Committee in November 1954. It will be dealt with in greater detail in the report to be made to the General Assembly pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 818 (IX).
10. The Agency has been developing plans which would permit the issue of identity cards to refugees, and thus meet a desire which has been expressed by many of them that they should have some tangible evidence of their status. So far, the ration card has been the only evidence. It is hoped that arrangements can be worked out which will make it possible in future to emphasize the distinction between eligibility for relief benefits, which clearly depends on the circumstances of the individual, and the status of the individual refugee as such.
11. There has been no change in the quantity of basic foodstuffs distributed by the Agency to each refugee on the ration rolls. There has, however, been some increase during the period under review in the number of refugees benefiting from the supplementary feeding programmes.
12. By itself, the quantity of basic food supplied (providing about 1,600 calories per day in winter and 1,500 in summer) is inadequate in calorie content if it be considered as a complete ration; further, as it consists largely of flour, it is dietetically unbalanced. Nevertheless, according to surveys conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, supported by the observations of the Agency's medical staff, there are no evident signs of general malnutrition among the refugee population, although isolated cases of under-nourishment are found. The reason for this is at least threefold:
) The dry foodstuffs distributed represent only part of the total amount of food provided by the Agency. About half the refugee population consists of children: for those between 1 and 15 years of age a daily ration of skim milk is available; infants under 1 year can get a daily issue of whole milk. Moreover, all pregnant and nursing women, whose average number at any one time is estimated at 47,000, are offered a daily ration of milk and extra basic rations when they report for medical supervision. The result of these extra issues is that the average calorie intake made available to children over 1 year of age is about 1,600 in summer and 1,700 in winter, and that made available to pregnant and nursing women is between 2,000 and 2,100. In addition, approximately 6 per cent of the total refugee population (that is, about 50,000 persons, mostly children) selected on medical grounds are entitled to a daily hot supplementary meal providing about 750 calories. Further, extra rations are given to patients in tuberculosis and general hospitals, as well as double quantities of the basic food ration to non-hospitalized tuberculosis patients.
) Many refugees have found part- or full-time work, though usually at low wages, which enables them to supplement the foodstuffs distributed by the Agency.
) As regards the qualitative nature of the refugee diet, it is by no means unusual for a part of the basic issue of flour and sometimes other dry rations to be sold or bartered for protein foods and vegetables (which it would be impossible for the Agency to distribute economically, in view of their perishable nature).
13. In spite of the above considerations, the margin of safety provided by the present basic distribution of foodstuffs is small, particularly in areas where work, and therefore earnings, is almost unobtainable. It is by no means certain that the refugees are in a nutritional state which would enable them to resist a serious epidemic. It is expected that, through a further improvement in the Agency's system of reporting signs of nutritional deficiency, and after a further scientific study by FAO and WHO, the Agency will be in a position within the next few months to determine what, if any, change should be made in the quantity of food made available to the refugees, in order to provide a margin of safety. Any increase would obviously require the availability of funds substantially above current levels, whether the increase took the form of additional basic supplies or of additional supplementary feeding.
14. As envisaged in the Director's report to the ninth session of the General Assembly,
the Agency has continued its efforts to increase and improve camp accommodations. The percentage of registered refugees living in camps has increased from 33 to 37 per cent during the year. The new camp construction programme in Gaza was completed before the onset ofthe winter of 1954-1955, and now no refugees in camps in the Gaza strip remain in tents. The Agency's Gaza office has however, some 2,800 applications for shelter from persons outside camps; in addition, births, marriages and other social changes create a demand for shelter that has so far not been met. By the end of June 1955, in Jordan, one new camp on the outskirts of Amman was near completion, and preliminary surveys had been carried out for three new camps in the Jordan Valley. This programme in Jordan should provide simple living quarters for about 20,000 refugees not at present housed by the Agency, and additional construction is planned in existing camps to replace 11,000 tents. In Lebanon, three new camps destined to house some 2,400 families were under construction at the end of the period under review, and plans were under study to provide shelter for a further 2,100 families. The camps will provide concrete-block dwellings for some of those who have hitherto been living in inadequate accommodation in camps and in most unsatisfactory conditions in towns, as well as for a number of nomad and semi-nomad Bedouins. These camps are expected to be finished before the coming winter. In Syria, a joint effort of the Government, the Agency and the refugees has enabled one camp to be completed in Damascus and the construction of an other begun near Lattaqié; refugees previously living in mosques and under bad housing conditions have already moved into them.
15. In addition to the new camp construction referred to above, much remains to be done with respect to refugee shelter. The condition of the shelter in some of the older camps is far below standard; there is pressure within most of the camps for homes for newly-marrieds who often must share a tent or room with several other members of the family; among the refugees not living in Agency camps there is a considerable number who are in great need of camp accommodation, having now come to the end of their resources. The Agency hopes that it will be possible gradually to meet the most urgent of these needs.
16. The special case of shelter for Bedouins has become more pressing. In Jordan, nearly 11,500 Bedouin families, totalling some 53,500 persons, are on the Agency's relief rolls. They receive rations and other forms of relief, but few of them have so far been provided with tenting. In most cases, their old tents have badly deteriorated and many no longer exist. Goat's hair tents of the traditional Bedouin type are expensive, but their life is usually some six to eight years. The Agency's normal canvas tents, although costing some 25 per cent less per unit, are far from satisfactory for Bedouin use and, moreover, their normal life is only three years. Consideration is being given as to the way in which some assistance can be provided to meet a recognized need.
17. The successful carrying out of the Agency's shelter programme will depend upon the availability of funds, upon the assistance of authorities in the host countries in obtaining suitable camp sites, and upon the co-operation of the refugees themselves. In the past, some of the refugees have refused to accept improved quarters, and have sought to influence others against doing so, on the ground that this would be in the nature of permanent resettlement. There has, however, been a noticeable change in this attitude during the past year, and there is evidence of a better understanding by the refugees that to live in improved shelter is not prejudicial to their political rights but, on the contrary, that it is advantageous to themselves and their children.
18. An account of the Agency's health services is contained in annex B below. In general, the health of refugees under the Agency's care is satisfactory; the most prevalent infectious diseases continue to be dysenteries and eye infections, the elimination of which lies mainly within the fields of health education and environmental sanitation. The health education programme, begun during the period covered by the last report, proved very successful, and it was decided to double the staff engaged on it.
19. It will be noted from annex B that the Agency has put an increasing emphasis on public health and preventive medicine. A new departure during the past year has been the establishment of a school health service. The object is to ensure a regular inspection of all teachers and children in the Agency's schools, for the purpose of discovering and referring for treatment such abnormal medical conditions as may be found and for the necessary follow-up of these cases. By 30 June 1955, the greater part of the school population had had a preliminary health examination and about a quarter of the children in Agency schools and the same proportion of teachers had had a detailed check. It appears from the work done so far that the health of school children is not unsatisfactory. The scheme is, however, only in its early stages, and findings are being gradually evaluated.
20. At the beginning of 1955, a rumour was widely disseminated, through press and other channels, alleging an increase of epidemic proportions in the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis among refugees in Jordan. The Agency's medical staff could find no basis for the allegations, but they were of such an alarming nature as to cause great concern among all those interested in the welfare of the refugees. In addition to the Agency's own review of all available and pertinent data, arrangements were made for a senior official of WHO to visit Jordan at the request of the Agency (which had already requested in the autumn of 1954 a review by WHO of the tuberculosis situation among refugees) and the Government of Jordan. This official came to the same conclusion as that reached previously by the Agency's medical staff, namely, that there was no evidence of any abnormal increase in pulmonary tuberculosis among refugees in Jordan.
21. Last year's report referred to the insufficient number of tuberculosis hospital beds in Jordan and to the need for adequate buildings to replace the existing tented tuberculosis hospital in Lebanon.
After lengthy negotiations with the Government concerning alternative sites, the Agency was able to open during April a 100-bed tuberculosis hospital at Nablus in West Jordan. Various attempts had been made in Lebanon during three years to replace the tented hospital but, because of a series of obstacles beyond the Agency's control, these efforts had proved unsuccessful. At the end of the period under review, however, negotiations with a private hospital in Lebanon were sufficiently far advanced to indicate that satisfactory arrangements could be made during the coming year to provide alternative facilities.
22. A bad drought during the past winter greatly aggravated the water supply problems in various parts of the Near East, and measures of an extraordinary nature were taken by the Agency to help meet the emergency. In February, when it became apparent that there was little chance of a break in the drought, the Agency ordered 12 large water tankers to add to its vehicle fleet. Later, it transformed six large cargo trucks into water carriers.
23. The water shortages were particularly serious in Jordan, where large sections of the population--refugees and non-refugees alike--were in dire need. The Agency undertook to transport emergency supplies to the refugees in the camps, nine of which required supplementary supplies. In addition, the Agency loaned eight tankers to the Jordan Government to supplement its fleet and to help it provide emergency supplies to the needy, regardless of refugee status. These tankers are operated and maintained by the Agency, but the Government furnishes the gasoline and oil.
24. In Lebanon, water shortages resulting from the winter drought have been particularly severe in the southern part of the country. The Agency made available five water tankers to service all needy camps and, in addition, to make occasional trips to certain remote villages in the areas where the local population was in special need. In Syria, also, special measures were taken to meet the emergency needs of one of the camps. These included the use of special tankers and sharing with the Government the construction costs of a new pipeline connecting the camp with a main reservoir.
25. The Agency's welfare services, which are described in annex C to the present report, are complementary to its self-support programme in the sense that they are designed to offset the effects of years of unemployment by maintaining morale and thus encouraging refugees to prefer work to dependence on charity. On the one hand, there are the group activities (welfare and community centres for libraries, literacy classes, handwork, scouting and so on), the sewing centres and the quasi-commercial arts and crafts centres producing goods for a wide sale. On the other hand, there is the individual case work--the common round of the welfare worker the world over--to help those whose need has not been met by the general social services. In addition, a very important function of the welfare services is to act as the Agency's point of contact with voluntary agencies.
26. These independent charitable societies are immensely valuable by reason not only of the size of their material contribution to the well-being of the refugees, but also of the moral support they give to the Agency's work. One of the great services performed by the agencies is that they are bringing home to a wide public, in different countries, the plight of the refugees from Palestine. Almost all clothing supplied to the refugees comes from voluntary agencies' gifts, as do substantial quantities of food for supplementary feeding. The Director wishes to take this opportunity to thank the agencies for their important work, which is more fully described in annex C.
27. During the period under review, over one million killogrammes of clothing and shoes were received from voluntary agencies for distribution among refugees; but, in spite of this generosity, the minimum needs of the refugees have not been met.
28. The need to provide more clothing for refugees was mentioned in the Director's report to the ninth session of the General Assembly.
This need has increased during the past year. A minimum sum has, therefore, been provided in the Agency's budget for the fiscal period 1955-1956 to allow of the commencement of a programme for supplying cotton cloth to be used for children's clothing. It is hoped to have this done, in part at least, in the Agency's sewing centres and by the refugees individually.
THE CONTINUING COST OF RELIEF
29. The Director's report to the ninth session of the General Assembly pointed out that, as no very substantial employment of refugees was to be expected in the near future and as there would be a large natural increase in the population, there could be no reduction in relief costs in 1954-1955, assuming that current standards were maintained.
In fact, relief expenditures during the year just past were somewhat lower than estimated in the 1954-1955 budget, and lower than expenditures during the previous year. This was due in large part to the facts that commodity prices were lower than had been anticipated and that some payments on the shelter and construction programmes had to be deferred to the year 1955-1956. The relief costs again averaged the low figure of about $27 per person per year, including administrative expenses.
30. If, as indicated in section III of the present report, no major proportion of the refugees becomes self-supporting for some years, it is possible that, because of the natural increase of the refugee population, a gradual increase in the Agency's expenditures on relief services over the next few years may prove necessary, unless either standards are reduced or some services are cut completely.
31. It is arguable that, far from reductions in standards or services being desirable or possible, the present ones should be improved or new ones added. As indicated above, it may prove to be desirable to increase the amount of foodstuffs distributed by the Agency. Although much has been done to provide simple, waterproof and durable shelter for refugees as cheaply as possible, there are many who still lack the minimum type of shelter. In addition, there is a widespread demand for a year-round supply of kerosene for lighting and cooking. At present, kerosene is distributed only to in-camp refugees and only during the five winter months, except in Gaza, where it is given to all refugees for four months in the year. The need for additional clothing is much greater than can be met by an annual amount such as that provided, for the first time, in the current budget. Another example of an important need which has not yet been met is that of the chronically ill--mentally and physically. It is becoming increasingly apparent that these people, who in the Near East were normally cared for by their families, are in great need of outside assistance. Where whole families are refugees in need, the traditional method of care has become disturbingly inadequate.
32. Representatives of the host Governments and of the refugees have pressed on the Agency the need to take action to improve standards of relief in view of considerations such as those sketched in the above paragraph. But such action is not within the Agency's sole competence. It is both a matter of policy and one of the availability of funds. Any appreciable change in the standards or types of relief services will have budgetary implications of long-term significance. Unless there can be some assurance of the continuing availability of funds, the launching of new standards is not considered to be wise, for their sudden stoppage could have very serious consequences and cause great human suffering. These matters will be further discussed with the Advisory Commission before specific recommendations are made to the General Assembly.
III. PROJECTS FOR ASSISTING THE REFUGEES TO BECOME SELF-SUPPORTING
33. During the year under review the Agency completed some of the projects which had been started earlier, continued work on others of a longer-term nature, and initiated new ones. Its technical services explored still other possibilities for developing selfsupport opportunities for the refugees, and it is hoped that it will prove possible to put some of these into effect in the near future. A description of the Agency's work in this field is contained in annex D below.
34. Progress toward the General Assembly's goal of making the refugees self-supporting is necessarily slow. Certain obstacles to the achievement of this goal were fully discussed in last year's annual report. They may be summarized briefly as follows: (
) the absence of a solution to the Palestine problem along the lines of General Assembly resolutions regarding repatriation and compensation; (
) the meagreness of the physical resources made available for development; and (
) the attitude of the refugees and, in some cases, of the Governments of the area. These obstacles continue to exist, and they must be borne in mind in any consideration of the Agency's task. The last-mentioned one is fundamental and deserves the most serious thought.
35. The outstanding factor which continues to condition refugee attitudes and to influence the policies of Near East Governments in this matter is the strong desire of the refugees to return to their homeland. This feeling has not diminished during the year, and its strength should not be underestimated. The demand for repatriation springs mainly from the natural longing of the people for their old homes, strengthened and encouraged by the resolution
of the General Assembly to the effect that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those not choosing to return".
36. For the majority of the refugees, repatriation means a return to the conditions they knew in Palestine prior to 1948. It is not possible to know how many of them would in fact accept an opportunity to be repatriated if that repatriation would mean something different from returning to their old homes and to their former way of life. No prediction can be made until the refugees have been given the opportunity of choosing between distinguishable alternatives, namely, on the one hand, repatriation the true nature of which is clearly understood at the time of choice and, on the other, the amount and form of the compensation that would be offered instead. It must be strongly emphasized that unless some opportunity is given to the refugees to make their choice, or unless some other political settlement can be reached, the unrequited demand for repatriation will continue to be an obstacle to the accomplishment of the objective of reintegration and self-support as set forth in paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 393 (V) and related resolutions.
37. Leaving aside this most difficult issue and considering the problem from the purely technical point of view, various possibilities exist for assisting the refugees to become self-supporting. The General Assembly at its ninth session, by its action in extending the mandate of the Agency and in requesting "the Governments of the area to continue to co-operate with the Director of the Agency in seeking and carrying out projects capable of supporting substantial numbers of refugees",
hoped to encourage the formulation of long-term plans for large-scale projects. The Agency has accordingly continued to concern itself with furthering the two major projects for the utilization of waters from the Jordan watershed in the Jordan Valley and from the Nile in Western Sinai. The physical study of both projects has been finished, and the completion of reports on their feasibility and cost is expected shortly after the end of the present reporting period.
38. The following observations, which apply to both projects, should be borne in mind. First, the implementation of each project depends partly on political decisions over which the Agency has no control. Secondly, it is to be anticipated that the construction and development period for each will last several years. In the case of the Sinai project, it is estimated that the basic construction work of the irrigation system could be completed in a period of three years; that 50,000 to 60,000 refugees could move on to the land within five years thereafter; and that self-support for the total project could be accomplished in from three to six years after the last refugees have moved on to the land. Thirdly, at their most successful, the Jordan and Sinai projects should not be expected to absorb more than about 200,000 persons, as compared with the approximately 700,000 refugees currently on the rolls of the Agency in Jordan and Gaza, without taking into account the natural increase during the period of construction of the projects. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to expect that these projects, especially the one in Jordan, would immediately create employment possibilities for refugees during construction and, through providing a powerful stimulant to the general economic development of the country, could indirectly create opportunities for self-support for many other refugees almost as soon as construction begins and, on a much wider scale, after it has been completed.
39. The foregoing are the only major projects now under active consideration by the Agency. However, bearing in mind the General Assembly's request quoted in paragraph 37 above, a reference must be made to other possibilities for large-scale developments which could provide substantial increases in the area of cultivated land available to relieve the pressure of the growing population of the area on existing resources. As stated in the previous annual report,
"on the basis of planning already in process, only Iraq will have succeeded by 1975 in bringing under cultivation more land than is required to maintain its population (including the natural increase) at the present standard of living". It is impossible to estimate what, if any, benefit the completion of Iraq's plans will bring to the refugees. There are also possibilities of large-scale agricultural development in Syria, particularly through the utilization of the waters of the Euphrates. However, there has as yet been no indication that these possibilities will materialize.
40. Resistance to self-support programmes is particularly evident in the case of large-scale development projects, since the latter inevitably appear to the refugees to carry serious political implications. Their cost, size and consequent permanence raise in the minds of the refugees the fear that to accept settlement on them will be tantamount to giving up the hope of repatriation. However, as noted above, none of the large-scale projects referred to has progressed to a point where refugees have, in fact, had an opportunity to decide whether or not to participate.
41. The political objections to large-scale projects do not apply in the same degree to smaller ones, which provide another aspect of the Agency's plans for refugee self-support. These projects, described in detail in annex D, are of the following types: first, there are small agricultural settlements, of which five were completed or nearly completed in Jordan and two in Syria during the year; secondly, individual refugees and family units are supported in projects of their own initiative by small grants given directly to the beneficiaries for opening workshops, acquiring agricultural supplies and so forth; thirdly, refugees who would be self-supporting were it not for the burden of rent are being assisted by the provision of rent-free accommodation in small housing schemes, especially in Amman and Jerusalem. As another measure looking toward self-support, the Agency has undertaken, and is paying for, a number of educational and training projects designed to produce qualified young people who can expect to find employment in the professions and trades they have acquired. Added together, all these schemes have not resulted in very large numbers of refugees becoming self-supporting. But even though the smaller projects have not been significant in terms of the over-all refugee problem, the Agency is encouraging them actively and will welcome any assistance the host Governments can give for their further development. It considers them very important from the viewpoint of morale and because they offer opportunities for decent lives to some at least of those who are so greatly in need and are anxious to work.
42. In addition to the refugees who are assisted in becoming self-supporting through Agency projects, a considerable number of refugees registered with the Agency have found full or part-time work through their own efforts. This is particularly true in Lebanon and Syria where job opportunities are more readily available than they are in Gaza or Jordan.
43. It is, indeed, gradually coming to be accepted by an increasing number of refugees that, whatever their ultimate future may be and without prejudice to their political rights, it is in their own interests to find, whether through Agency projects or by their own efforts, a temporary means of overcoming their enforced idleness. Refugees are anxious that their children (who constitute half the refugee population) should have the opportunity to put their education and youth to good account. Host Governments, too, are beginning to recognize that it is in their interests for refugees to be gainfully employed, thereby making some contribution, however modest, to the national economy.
IV. EDUCATION AND TRAINING
44. The Agency's work in this field is described in detail in annex E to the present report. As far as elementary education is concerned, more children than before are presenting themselves for admission to schools. During the year just past, there were some 154,000 elementary pupils either in schools run by the Agency or in government and private schools subsidized by the Agency. The number during the coming year is estimated at about 160,000. It will be recalled that the policy was introduced about three years ago of making elementary education available to all refugee children requesting it. As larger numbers of pupils complete the elementary stage, the effects of that policy are beginning to be felt in the field of secondary education.
45. The number of refugee children in secondary classes at the Agency's expense, expressed in terms of a percentage of those in elementary classes, rose from 5 per cent in 1953-1954 to 9 per cent in 1954-1955. During the coming year, the percentage in secondary schools will be increased to 12.5 per cent, so that the total number of children educated at Agency expense will be about 180,00 compared to 161,000 during the year under review. It is clear that as the number of pupils in the top elementary classes continues to increase, so also will the number of children capable of benefiting from the secondary education which will equip them to meet the future with more confidence.
46. The Agency is therefore planning to admit increasing numbers into secondary schools each year, until at least the level existing in, say, Jordan is reached. There are three main justifications for this policy. First, the percentage of pupils receiving education in the host countries is rising steadily from year to year. If in five years' time the percentage of pupils receiving secondary education at the expense of the Agency reaches, say, 22 per cent, it is believed that this will constitute a normal and reasonable figure by comparison with what will then be the prevailing ratio in countries like Jordan. Secondly, unless the Agency keeps pace with this development it will impose a distinct handicap upon the adolescent refugee population. Refugee young men and women, if not educated up to prevailing local standards, will not be in position to take advantage of opportunities for employment requiring standard educational qualifications. Thirdly, to take proper advantage of the gradual economic expansion in the Near East, increasing numbers of refugees must receive vocational training. This type of training cannot be superimposed on six years of elementary education only. There must be some basis of secondary education.
47. The Agency intends to continue to maintain selective standards in choosing those pupils who are to benefit from secondary education. At the same time, the Agency proposes to provide vocational and professional training for as large a number of suitably qualified students as its resources will permit. In this connexion, the experimental introduction of handicraft training in Gaza (which is discussed in annex E) is an example of the efforts which the Agency is exerting to prepare young refugees for more advanced vocational training.
48. The Agency last year announced its intention to expand the vocational training programme which is designed to enable the younger generation of refugees to play their part in the economic expansion of the region. Further experience with the two vocational training centres in Gaza and Jordan has confirmed the value of this type of training. Most of the trainees found employment shortly after completing their courses. These two centres were expanded and improved during the year, but the programme of construction of new centres has been retarded owing mainly to difficulties over finding suitable sites. Only one agricultural training centre, which is now under construction in Gaza, was started during the year. Negotiations for the sites of several other centres are, however, fairly well advanced.
49. The lack of qualified teachers in all educational fields remains one of the major difficulties facing the Agency, and steps are being taken to overcome the shortage. Equipment and buildings are being improved as experience indicates and as possibilities permit and, in general, it may be stated that the programme upon which the Agency embarked a few years ago is developing along satisfactory lines. This is not to say that the programme is, or ever will be, a luxurious one; costs are rigidly controlled and new items of expenditure are permitted only when they are essential. It is, however, inevitable that the education of a complete generation, once launched, cannot be halted, and future budgets will continue to reflect the effects of decisions taken earlier.
50. A full report of the Agency's financial and budgetary position is contained in annex F to the present report. The reader is also referred to the financial statements and report of the Board of Auditors to be presented separately to the General Assembly.
51. In last year's report, attention was drawn to the difficulties arising from the fact that the approval of the Agency's budget by the General Assembly can be given only several months after the beginning of the financial year to which that budget relates.
With a view to obviating these difficulties, the General Assembly authorized the Director to "prepare, in consultation with the Advisory Commission, the budgets for relief and rehabilitation in advance of each fiscal year", and to transmit those budgets, without prejudice to the General Assembly's later review, to the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds.
The Committee was requested, upon receiving the budgets, to seek funds as might be required.
52. A tentative budget for 1955-1956 was accordingly prepared in consultation with the Advisory Commission and transmitted to the Negotiating Committee in April, with a request that the latter should seek to obtain contributions amounting to $14 million before the end of the Agency's fiscal year on 30 June 1955. The Negotiating Committee requested the funds, but no contribution was received by the year's end. It therefore appears that the expedient adopted last year for overcoming the gap during which the Agency operates on a technical overdraft has failed.
53. In the circumstances, the Agency has again been obliged to have recourse to using temporarily for relief purposes funds placed at its disposal but earmarked for rehabilitation, replacing them when relief contributions become available. This practical though somewhat unorthodox method has not been criticized by the contributors concerned, but it can be used only for as long as there are rehabilitation funds available. If one or both of the major projects in Sinai and the Jordan Valley, or some entirely new project, is undertaken, rehabilitation funds will be entirely absorbed or committed for their primary purpose.
54. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of an adequate reserve of funds. Without such a reserve the Agency would be forced to operate on a hand-to-mouth basis, purchasing when funds are available such supplies as might readily be obtainable. This was the case during the early days of international relief for the Palestine refugees, and the operation was most uneconomical. The improvements which have been secured more recently are largely due to the availability of funds, permitting the Agency to choose the best markets and suppliers to include the Agency's purchases in their forward planning programmes.
55. The difficulties to which reference has been made above may, to some extent, be palliated by adjusting the Agency's fiscal year so as to conform with the calendar year, as is the general United Nations practice. This would enable the General Assembly to take a decision about the budget for the succeeding year before it came into effect, and would enable the Negotiating Committee to commence its search for contributions that much earlier. The Agency proposes therefore to consult the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions with a view to introducing the change as early as possible.
56. The Agency must draw to the attention of the Assembly that, no matter what budgetary year is used, if adequate funds are not made available when and as needed, serious and possibly disastrous hardships will be caused to the refugees who are dependent for their daily needs on UNRWA's services. To help guard against such an eventuality, a somewhat larger working capital fund appears to be essential. This matter is discussed in detail in section 2 of annex F below. It is hoped that the General Assembly will approve an increase in the present working capital along the lines suggested in that section.
VI. OTHER MATTERS
CLAIMANTS FOR RELIEF
57. At the request of the General Assembly, the Director, in consultation with the Advisory Commission, has made a study (not complete at the time of writing) of "the problem of assistance which should be given to other claimants for relief, particularly children and needy inhabitants of villages along the demarcation lines".
The result of the study will be presented to the General Assembly in a special report.
58. In addition to the children in Jordan, the report will be concerned with the inhabitants of frontier villages in Jordan; with persons of similar status in Gaza; with others in Gaza who have lost their livelihood because of the separation of the Gaza strip from Palestine; with a number of Bedouins in Egypt and Jordan whose traditional grazing grounds have been cut by newly-enforced frontiers; and with a number of refugees in Egypt who fled there direct from Palestine, who have stayed there ever since, but who have never received assistance from the United Nations. The total number of such claimants to relief may be (excluding the children in Jordan) over 200,000.
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOVERNMENTS
59. Annex G contains a brief statement concerning the agreement which was signed with the Lebanese Government on 26 November 1954, but which has not as yet been implemented. It also refers to discussions which took place during the year with the Governments of Jordan and Syria concerning modifications of the existing agreements governing the Agency's status in those countries. In general, relationships with the host Governments have somewhat improved in the period under review. However, as annex G shows, some of the misunderstandings arising from divergencies of view regarding the Agency's legal status and resulting operational independence (to which the Director drew attention in his last annual report) still remain to hinder the Agency's efforts to help the refugees. In particular, these divergencies concern the importation of supplies, the appointment of staff, and the immunity from suit of staff members in the performance of their official duties.
UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
60. In accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 818 (IX), the Agency has continued its consultations with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, with a view to the better implementation of their respective tasks. Discussions have taken place in connexion with the question of compensation; and co-operation between the two agencies assisted the banks in Israel to continue the liquidation of the blocked balances, the bulk of which have been released to their owners. In addition, UNRWA was consulted during the negotiations for the transfer of the contents of the refugees' safe deposits in Israel, upon which work is proceeding.
THE SPECIAL SITUATION IN GAZA
61. The extreme economic poverty of the Gaza strip, the fact that it is a military area, together with the recent frontier incidents there, make Gaza a unique case in the Agency's operations.
62. The Gaza strip, a coastal section of south- western Palestine, is about 25 miles long and from three to five miles wide. It formed part of the Gaza District of Palestine, and contains the towns of Gaza and Khan Yunis and a few other smaller towns and villages. It encompasses very little cultivable land and no industries of importance. Until 1948, the present Gaza strip had always been economically integrated in Palestine. Travellers and goods making their way to Egypt used it, before the railway was built between Palestine and Egypt, as the port of the desert; more recently, it remained an important frontier station. Its warehouses stored the wheat and barley from Beersheba that was often shipped from its open roadstead. Its population went out to work into other parts of Palestine. It was a centre for administration and marketing. All that has now ended; and to the 100,000 normal inhabitants of the Gaza strip have been added over 200,000 refugees. At a time when the population increased by more than 200 per cent, the economy decreased to almost nothing. And now, out of some 300,000 inhabitants, only a few thousand are in work, the majority of whom are employed by the Agency and the Egyptian administration.
63. The enforced idleness of such a large mass of individuals, confined to this unproductive and overcrowded strip, has inevitably affected the morale of the people; but not as much as might be expected. Much credit is due to the refugees and to the Egyptian authorities for the fact that public discipline has not collapsed and that public security has been maintained. An exception occurred after the major frontier incident at the end of February 1955, when for several days special measures had to be taken by the Egyptian authorities to control outbreaks of mob violence by refugees and others directed primarily against United Nations installations. At that time, Agency installations, among others, were attacked and damaged, and supplies of food for refugees were destroyed. The Agency's losses were valued at about $70,000.
64. Special mention should be made of the loyalty and efficiency of the Agency staff in Gaza, the large majority of whom are themselves refugees. Working under very difficult conditions and, at times, under great tension, they have done much to alleviate the misery of those in their charge and to serve as a steadying influence in times of emergency.
VII. SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS
65. The attention of the General Assembly is drawn particularly to the following conclusions reached by the Agency during the past year:
) Unless an opportunity is given to the refugees to choose between repatriation and compensation pursuant to paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, it will not prove feasible to carry out fully the intent of paragraph 4 of resolution 393 (V) and related resolutions concerning the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East.
) On the basis of preliminary reports, and assuming the satisfactory resolution of the political problems involved, it should prove possible to provide substantial increases in the area of cultivated land in the Jordan Valley and in Western Sinai, and to make such land available for refugees over a period of several years.
) The Agency can, given the full co-operation of the Governments of the area, develop other projects offering substantial opportunities for self-support to the refugees.
) The Agency's educational facilities and system should continue to be improved and expanded with a view to preparing for constructive lives all those refugee children who meet agreed standards of performance.
) Although the standards of the relief services have been gradually improved during the past few years, and are in some cases adequate, it would be desirable for the Agency to have an assurance of sufficient funds to enable it to undertake further improvements of the nature referred to in paragraph 31.
) It is essential, if the Agency is to continue to carry on its work, that adequate funds be made available to it in sufficient time to enable it to plan its operations and to meet its obligations as they arise.
UMBER OF REFUGEES AND RATIONS
June 1950 June 1951 June 1952 June 1953 June 1954 June 1955
Refugees Rations Refugees Rations Refugees Rations Refugees Rations Refugees Rations Refugees Rations
Gaza ...........198,277 188,227 199,789 197,233 204,356 198,427 208,560 199,465 212,600 207,037 214,601 208,674
Jordan .........506,200 503,423 465,741 444,403 469,576 438,775 475,620 431,012 486,631 443,464 499,606 441,371
Lebanon ........127,600 129,041 106,896 106,068 104,901 99,903 102,095 97,324 101,636 100,056 103,600 101,272
Syria ...........82,194 82,824 82,861 80,499 84,224 80,674 85,473 79,819 86,191 83,233 88,179 84,611
Israel ......... 45,800 45,800 24,380 23,434 19,616 17,176
b b b b b
TOTAL 960,021 949,315 879,667 851,637 882,673 834,955 871,748 807,620 887,058 833,790 905,986 835,928
The number of rations shown has been corrected to the equivalent number of full rations, as some registered refugees receive no dry rations and others (frontier villages) receive half rations. Before the eighth session of the General Assembly, children under 7 years of age and certain Bedouins also received half rather than full rations.
No longer under UNRWA responsibility.]
DISTRIBUTION OF REFUGEES ACCORDING TO AGE AND COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE
AS AT 30 JUNE 1955
-1 years 1-15 years 15 years and over umber of families
Gaza ........... 7,994 99,277 107,330 40,460
Jordan ............. 8,154 225,171 266,281 96,923
Lebanon ............. 1,735 48,480 53,385 23,601
Syria ................ 2,975 39,157 46,047 20,994
TOTAL 20,858 412,085 473,043 181,978
1. ORGANIZATION AND STAFF
1. The organization of the Agency's health services has remained substantially unchanged during the fiscal period 1954-1955 though certain posts have been added both at headquarters and in the field. The World Health Organization, by agreement with UNRWA, continues to be responsible for the technical direction of these services by designating and providing certain of the senior staff, including the Chief Medical Officer of the Agency.
2. Table 1 below shows the personnel establishment (including those seconded by WHO) as at 15 June 1955. The column "others" includes administrative, clerical, laboratory, pharmaceutical and supply personnel as well as sanitary, supplementary feeding and milk distribution personnel above the labour category. The table does not include the hundreds of workers employed in hospitals, subsidized by the Agency, which provide services to refugees.
Headquarters Lebanon Syria Jordan Gaza Total
Doctors ................ 4 1 1 1 1 8
Nurses .................. 1 1 1 2 1 6
Sanitation officers ...... 1 0 0 0 0 1
Nutritionist ............. 1 0 0 0 0 1
Health educator ......... 1 0 0 0 0 1
Administration .......... 1 0 0 0 0 1
Doctors ................ 0 20 16 44 15 95
Dentists ............. 0 1 2 7 1 11
Nurses ................. 1 20 15 38 19 93
Nurses: practical, aid, midwives. 0 45 43 117 64 269
Sanitation officers ........ 0 1 1 2 1 5
Laboratory technicians ...... 0 2 2 2 1 7
Pharmacists ................. 1 1 1 2 1 6
Food supervisors ............ 0 1 1 1 1 4
Medical ................... 13 17 11 224 40 305
Sanitation ................ 1 22 10 54 48 135
Supplementary feeding milk .. 0 28 6 32 20 86
Medical ................... 0 37 33 0 79 149
Sanitation ................ 0 98 51 382 448 979
Supplementary feeding milk .. 0 131 98 435 223 887
GRAND TOTAL 3,049
2. CLINICS, HOSPITALS AND LABORATORIES
3. The number of clinics and out-patient departments operated by the Agency increased from 81 to 90 during the period under review. New static clinics have been opened in all four host countries; a new mobile clinic has been provided to serve a group of villages in the neighbourhood of Ramallah (eight miles north of Jerusalem); and in Gaza, a new dental clinic has been established. The following table shows the number of visits paid to Agency clinics during the reporting period:
Description Lebanon Syria Jordan Gaza Total
Population served by medical
................ 102,000 88,000 476,000 270,000 936,000
General medical cases ...... 412,459 382,087 620,917 465,082 1,880,545
Dressings and skin ......... 258,280 220,288 959,474 520,940 1,958,982
Eye cases ................ 252,767 105,118 1,065,176 687,773 2,110,834
School health ............ 15,293 36,232 154,239 447,654 653,418
Maternal ................ 14,275 11,698 22,495 55,142 103,610
Infants .................. 54,812 83,491 138,081 147,858 424,242
Venereal disease ........ 1,083 822 563 497 2,965
Dental .................. 34,950 46,303 36,099 13,584 130,936
Figures show the number of refugees and residents served by UNRWA medical services and do not represent the total numbers of refugees in the respective countries.
Includes services to refugees by Public Health Department and the Red Crescent in Gaza, as well as services by UNRWA to Gaza non-refugees.
4. The number of hospital beds maintained by or reserved for the Agency increased from 2,052 in June 1954 to 2,302 in June 1955. The increase was spread over the four host countries proportionately to the number of beds in each; and at the latter date their distribution was as follows:
Gaza ....................................... 704
Jordan ..................................... 1,059
Lebanon .................................... 342
Syria ...................................... 197
5. Perhaps the most notable improvement in the Agency's hospital service was the opening on 1 April 1955 of a new tuberculosis hospital at Nablus in Jordan; the X-ray department and the services of a radiographer for six months were provided by the Swiss Government. Among other changes was the establishment of an adequate number of beds subsidized by the Agency in the Government Hospital at Tulkarem, permitting the Agency to close its small
children's hospital there as well as the nearby subsidized El Jehad Hospital. St. Luke's Hospital at Hebron, which had been operated by the Agency for more than four years, was handed over to the Jerusalem and Near East Mission, the majority of beds still being subsidized by the Agency and reserved for the use of refugees. Two new wards were added to Kalkylia Hospital as well as a new operating theatre. A fully equipped radiological department was developed in the subsidized Sisters of Nazareth Children's Hospital in Amman. In the Gaza District, a new wing, housing the medical offices, out-patient department, laboratory, dispensary, operating theatre and X-ray department, was added to the Bureij Tuberculosis Hospital. Dar El Shifa, a new hospital which is subsidized by the Agency, was opened by the Egyptian authorities for general medical and paediatric cases. A maternity centre of 14 beds has been opened by the Agency in the new Jabalia camp. The total number of such centres in Gaza is eight.
6. Laboratory services, which on the whole have been satisfactory, are obtained from private, subsidized and government laboratories; sometimes, as in Gaza, the Agency has its own laboratories. In Jordan, the load of work has caused some strain on governmental laboratories which are, however, being developed and whose work is being better distributed. The situation there has been further eased by the recent opening of a small Agency laboratory in the Jericho area.
3. MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
7. Every encouragement is given to mothers and pregnant women to make full use of maternity clinics, at which there were 103,610 attendances (monthly average 8,634) during the period under review. During the previous 12 months, the total attendances had been 95,868.
8. During pregnancy they undergo routine examination at regular intervals. A blood test for syphilis is taken at the first attendance and, if found to be positive, a standard course of treatment with penicillin is given with surveillance continued for a lengthy period, the family members being at the same time investigated. Deliveries take place at home or in the camp maternity centres, hospital admission being usually reserved for complicated cases. These deliveries are attended by child-birth attendants who are under the supervision, in most instances, of the camp nurse. Deliveries in camp maternity centres are attended by a trained midwife.
9. There were 424,242 attendances at infant health clinics during the period under review (monthly average 35,353) whereas there had been 454,102 in the previous period.
10. The need for further training of infant health clinic staff continues to be felt. Though a limited amount of in-service training has taken place, it has not proved possible during the past year to establish a satisfactory programme. It must await development during the coming year. A new infant health record card for the first and second years of life was designed and issued.
4. SCHOOL HEALTH
11. This new service was created during the year for the purpose of prevention of disease among the schoolchildren and for its detection and treatment in its earliest stage. It is carried on by five school health teams (two in Jordan and one each in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza), each consisting of a medical officer, a trained nurse, a clerk and a driver. It is intended to establish a third team in Jordan.
12. At the commencement of the work each team completed a rapid survey of the schoolchildren in its area in order to obtain an impression of the general state of health of the children and to refer for treatment without loss of time those most obviously in need of medical attention. This having been accomplished, a systematic and detailed examination of individual pupils took place, with completion of health record cards, and with the establishment of a system of referrals for treatment and follow-up. School teachers were also examined to ensure that they were free from tuberculosis or other infectious conditions that might render them a danger to the pupils under their care.
13. Other functions of the school health teams are as follows: collaborating with camp doctors in the preventive measures to be taken in case of infectious or contagious diseases occurring among schoolchildren; reporting on the accommodation, lighting, furniture and sanitary facilities of schools; selection from among the school-age group of beneficiaries for supplementary feeding; and taking part in the health education programme among pupils, teachers and parents.
14. During the period under review, about a quarter of the children and the same proportion of teachers in Agency schools were fully examined.
15. Throughout the year the calorific value of the basic rations supplied to the refugees has been about 1,500 calories per day during the summer months and about 1,600 calories per day during the winter months. There are no items of fresh food in the ration nor any animal protein, the total vegetable protein content being 42.4 grammes per day in summer and 47.1 grammes per day in winter.
16. This is a meagre ration. Yet it can be said that the general state of nutrition of the refugee population does not appear unsatisfactory, on the evidence of the monthly returns made by camp medical officers of the incidence of deficiency signs seen per 100 first attendances at the camp clinics. These returns differ little from the corresponding returns of the previous year.
17. Such a state of affairs can be explained partly by the fact that the refugees have traditionally good food habits and therefore tend to eat those foods which are the most essential. They are also good traders and, in fact, do sell certain items of the basic ration such as flour to buy other foods which are less expensive but more valuable nutritionally; such foods (for example, meat and fresh vegetables) would be difficult for the Agency to distribute economically in view of their perishable nature. A certain number also obtain casual employment and, with the wages they earn, are able to buy extra foodstuffs. Finally, there remains the supplementary feeding and milk programme of the Agency, through which the most vulnerable groups are protected: infants, children up to the age of 15 years, and pregnant and lactating women, are in receipt of a daily milk issue; one substantial hot meal, which includes animal protein as well as vegetables and fresh fruit, is given for periods of three months to those selected by the clinic doctors as showing deficiency signs or signs of under-nourishment or of malnutrition; double rations are provided for the non-hospitalized cases of tuberculosis, as are cod liver oil and vitamins for special groups. For the future, a further safeguard will be the issue of a monthly supplement to pregnant and nursing mothers sufficient to provide an extra 500 calories per day. Donations of food received throughout the year have made possible periodic issues to selected groups of valuable additional items of food.
18. The basic foodstuffs distributed by the Agency are as follows:
Calories per day
Commodity Grammes per month (approximate)
Flour ........................ 10,000 1,170
Pulses ....................... 600 70
Oils and fats ................ 375 110
Sugar ........................ 600 80
Rice ......................... 250 30
Burghal ...................... 275 30
Added in winter:
Dates ........................ 500 50
Pulses ....................... 300 40
19. The Agency provides cooked meals as supplementary feeding for approximately 6 per cent of the number of refugees receiving basic rations. The maximum is at present not reached, mainly because of the inadequacy in size and numbers of the centres where the meals are prepared and served; but new centres are being built and additional premises rented.
20. The school milk programme is proving increasingly successful as parents and teachers come to realize the value of a daily issue of milk to schoolchildren.
6. SPECIAL PROGRAMMES
During the period under review, tuberculosis control continued to be further developed in all countries. All modern chemo-therapeutic agents are available for the use of both hospitalized and ambulatory patients. Non-hospitalized cases receive double food rations, as mentioned above. In Gaza, the construction of a new wing in the Bureij Tuberculosis Hospital has been mentioned above; a new children's ward is to be constructed shortly. The appointment of a resident medical officer in the sanatorium has allowed the Medical Superintendent (who is also the tuberculosis officer) to give more time to his diagnostic and preventive work in camps. The opening of the new hospital at Nablus, in Jordan, has also been mentioned above. In addition, 40 beds were reserved for refugee patients in Baracha Sanatorium. Twenty-six beds were already reserved in the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem; so that a total of 166 beds are available for the treatment of cases of pulmonary tuberculosis among refugees in Jordan. In the autumn of 1954, the Agency had requested WHO to make a survey of tuberculosis among refugees and, following allegations published in Jordan at the beginning of 1955 of an unusual spread of tuberculosis among refugees there, a tuberculosis consultant of WHO was invited by the Agency and the Government of Jordan to investigate the situation. He was able to report that he had found no evidence of any such spread of the disease among refugees in Jordan. In Lebanon, negotiations are being conducted for the construction of a new wing of 150 beds for refugee patients in an existing sanatorium so as to permit the closure of the present tented tuberculosis hospital. In Syria, plans have been completed and money set aside for the construction of a new 24-bed tuberculosis detention ward in Nairab Camp, Aleppo; permission to build is awaited from the Government. In both the last-named countries, the tuberculosis officers, previously part-time, have become full-time.
has been continued against smallpox, diphtheria and the enteric group fevers. As large numbers of refugees had already been protected during the previous year's campaign, the number of injections and vaccinations given fell from about 700,000 to about 413,000 in the period under review. In addition, many refugees have been immunized in the BCG campaign being carried out in Jordan by WHO and the Government.
23. The detection of veneral disease by means of the blood tests for syphilis carried out on all pregnant women attending the Agency ante-natal clinics, as mentioned above, continues to be the most effective method of controlling this disease among the community. All cases diagnosed received full courses of treatment as recommended by the WHO Expert Committee on Veneral Disease and undergo a prolonged period of surveillance afterwards. So far as is possible family members are also examined and treatment is provided. Of the 21,223 blood tests carried out on pregnant women during the year, 557 proved to be positive, i.e., 2.6 per cent.
24. A nursing staff of 368 persons is provided by the Agency for its various clinics and institutions, for home visiting, as well as for the various public health services mentioned in this report (maternity and child health, school health, tuberculosis control, immunization and supplementary feeding). In addition, the nursing services have played an active part in the health education programme and in nursing training.
7. HEALTH EDUCATION
25. The joint WHO Agency health education project continued to develop successfully during the year. By the end of the period ten trained health education workers were employed by the Agency in the field, nine of them having completed a one-year training course under the direction of the WHO health educator. A further group of 11 students had also completed their six months of theoretical training at headquarters and were undergoing a practical course of similar length in the field. This course was expected to be completed in November 1955, when a total of 20 trained workers would then be in the employment of the Agency. The influence of these workers among the camp population is evidenced by the increased appreciation of the role of immunization and of sanitation in the prevention of disease, of the value of the maternal and child health clinics and of the supplementary feeding programme.
26. Of the six treaty diseases (plague, cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, typhus and louse-borne relapssing fever) no cases occurred among refugees during the year under review. Only one atypical case of endemic typhus was reported in Gaza, while all cases of relapsing fever reported in Jordan were proved by the WHO expert to be of the tick-borne variety. A list of infectious diseases recorded among the refugees during the period 13 June 1954 to 11 June 1955 is given in the following table:
Lebanon Syria Jordan Gaza Total
102,000 88,000 476,000 270,000 936,000
Plague ............. 0 0 0 0 0
Cholera ............ 0 0 0 0 0
Yellow fever ....... 0 0 0 0 0
Smallpox ........... 0 0 0 0 0
(louse-borne) .... 0 0 0 0 0
Typhus (endemic) ... 0 0 0 1 1
Relapsing fever .... 1 6 79 2 88
Diphtheria ......... 24 4 39 0 67
Measles ............ 388 573 2,256 3,400 6,617
Whooping cough ..... 4,047 737 1,486 122 6,392
Chicken pox ........ 1,334 414 1,305 859 3,912
Mumps .............. 1,740 793 1,339 3,398 7,270
Meningitis ......... 10 4 12 27 53
Poliomyelitis ...... 10 0 27 2 39
Typhoid (Para A&B) 211 278 193 277 909
Dysentery .......... 36,063 22,786 16,648 23,523 99,020
Malaria ............ 947 3,495 13,550 43 18,035
Bilharziasis ....... 1 0 3 105 109
Ancylostomiasis .... 130 0 1 397 528
Trachoma ........... 16,120 3,907 129,790 12,264 162,081
Conjunctivitis ..... 35,734 23,928 123,055 21,578 204,295
These figures represent the number of refugees whether registered or not and also residents (as in Gaza) concerning whom UNRWA's field health officers obtain records of infectious diseases' incidence. The balance of Gaza residents at risk are reported upon by the Public Health Department.
27. Dysentery and eye diseases continue to be the most prevalent infections, especially during the summer months when flies are numerous. Clinical malaria shows a further decrease in incidence as a result of the malaria control programme, some 11,000 cases less being reported than in the previous year. Enteric group fever cases were relatively few due to prophylactic inoculations and the provision of safe water supplies. Immunization of susceptibles has kept the incidence of diphtheria low, though there was a slight increase in the number of cases occurring in Lebanon.
9. INSECT AND MALARIA CONTROL
28. The insects which are hazards to refugee health are the mosquitoes, flies, lice and ticks which can give rise to malaria, dysentery, typhus and relapsing fever. Other insects, such as bed bugs and human fleas, cause discomfort and nuisance. Consequently, preventive measures are taken to control them all and if possible to eliminate them completely.
29. The incidence of malaria among refugees attending the Agency's polyclinics is observed from the clinic records during the malaria season from July to December. The following table shows the declining trend in all countries:
Country July August September October November December
1952-53... 1.5 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.1
1953-54... 1.2 1.5 1.1 1.5 0.8 0.5
1954-55... 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2
1952-53... 0.8 0.7 1.0 1.4 1.4 0.9
1953-54... 0.4 3.4 2.6 3.4 1.9 1.0
1954-55... 1.3 1.9 1.5 2.5 1.4 0.5
1952-53... 10.6 6.4 10.5 13.0 18.5 12.7
1953-54... 8.5 8.3 7.5 8.3 6.0 5.1
1954-55... 2.9 3.0 3.9 4.1 3.5 2.2
1952-53... 4.6 5.4 5.0 4.5 5.6 4.4
1953-54... 2.1 2.4 2.7 2.4 2.2 1.0
1954-55... 2.2 1.5 1.4 1.8 1.7 1.6
1952-53... 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0
1953-54... 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1954-55... 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Malaria is no longer the dreaded disease that it once was, though its decline is least marked in Syria where inadequate measures have been taken to control mosquito breeding in the area of increased rice cultivation in southern Syria.
30. While the Yarmuk-Jordan anti-malaria project is carried out by an independent staff administered by the UNRWA epidemiologist, the Agency's general anti-malaria programme is the responsibility of the field health officers' sanitation staff. Each year, an "UNRWA anti-malaria plan" is prepared in coordination with the Government concerned. In Gaza, where malaria was eradicated in 1949, routine canalizing of valleys and regular oiling of irrigation pits is all that is necessary, and even that is mainly for the control of pest mosquitoes. In Jordan, the Yarmuk-Jordan project staff operates along the whole length of these river valleys, including the neighbouring towns and villages. The campaign is based on a larvicidal campaign (including spraying, oiling, canalizing, draining and clearing of grass from the edges of streams) repeated weekly and cost $91,349 during the period under review. In Lebanon and Syria, residual spraying of refugee camps and the surrounding villages with 5 per cent DDT during May and June is the usual practice.
31. The following table summarizes the Agency's anti-malarial activities during the period under review:
Residual spraying campaigns
Camps Valleys metres Population Cost/head
Country sprayed sprayed sprayed protected in US $
Lebanon .. 12 2 282,510 32,713 0.06
Syria .... 1 50 382,750 15,480 0.14
Jordan ... 1 68 1,117,894 60,436 0.10
Larvicidal campaign (Jordan)
Estimated number of square metres oiled during period April-November 1954 inclusive .......... 42,349,187
Number of litres DDT-pure resin-solar oil
(2.5 per cent DDT and 2 per cent resin) ........ 108,570
Number of metres cleared ........................... 9,230
Number of cubic metres dry as drains ........... 54,110
Number of square metres dried .................... 5,557,000
32. In the anti-fly campaign the routine weekly spraying from April to November of fly-breeding sites in camps with chlordane has been carried out. Residual spraying with insecticides such as DDT is now largely ineffective as the flies have become resistent to these chemicals. The only certain method of achieving an appreciable reduction in the fly population is by diminishing the facilities for breeding by the improvement of sanitation (provision of septic tank latrines, proper garbage disposal system and so forth), as well as by an intensive health education programme among the refugees.
33. Delousing is carried out continuously during the winter months or periodically according to the needs. The absence of even a single case of epidemic typhus in the whole refugee population in all countries during the last two years bears witness to the efficiency of the methods used.
34. The use of dieldrin as a residual spray is proving to be effective against bedbugs while the dusting of bedding and of the ground with various insecticides (DDT, chlordane, dieldrin, gammexane) in the appropriate strength gives immediate relief from fleas. Flea-traps also continue to be used.
10. ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION
35. The Health Division is responsible for the maintenance of sanitation services in the organized camps and in certain other Agency centres. Under the technical direction of a public health engineer, the various field camp maintenance and sanitation officers carry out a programme covering water supplies, sewage and garbage disposal, construction and maintenance of shelter and roads in camps, being at the same time also actively concerned in the insect control programme described above.
36. In the sanitary field the replacement of the fly-breeding pit latrines by septic tank latrines has proceeded steadily throughout the year, particularly in Gaza. In Jordan also considerable numbers of these septic tank latrines have been built and a further extension is planned for the coming year. The construction of permanent garbage containers has done much to facilitate an efficient garbage collection and disposal system.
11. MEDICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
37. The following tables demonstrate the continuation of the training of para-medical staff:
Length of Number of
Project Location training trainees
Courses completed during year under review
General nursing .. School of
Nursing, Jordan 3 years 23
inspectors ...... Jerusalem 1 year 15
Laboratory Government Lab-
technicians ..... oratory, Jerusalem 2 years 10
pharmacist ..... Gaza 1 year 24
Health education . UNRWA
headquarters 1 year 9
General nursing .. Sterling Memorial
Hospital, Gaza 3 years 5
Courses in operation
general nursing . England 3 years 14
Health education . UNRWA
headquarters 1 year 11
General nursing .. School of
Nursing, Jordan 3 years 16
General nursing .. National School of
Nursing, Beirut 3 years 1
General nursing .. El Makassed
Hospital, Beirut 3 years 1
General nursing .. Syrian University
Hospital, Damascus 4 years 1
General nursing .. Sterling Memorial
Hospital, Gaza 3 years 18
Mental nursing .. Asfuriyeh Mental
Hospital, Beirut 3 years 2
Tuberculosis Hamlin Sanatorium,
orderlies ....... Lebanon 2 years 5
ical orderlies .. Lebanon 3 months 17
ical orderlies .. Jordan 3 months 6
ical orderlies .. Gaza 3 months 2
Childbirth Rimal Maternity
attendants ...... Centre, Gaza 9 months 12
38. Centres for nursing training continue to be attached to the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem and the Sterling Memorial Hospital in Gaza. In view of the great need for ophthalmic medical orderlies, special courses have been held in Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon.
39. Sixty-one UNRWA scholarships in medicine, seven in pharmacy, four for veterinarians and one in dentistry are at present held by refugees at universities in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. One scholarship each in sanitation, public health education and hospital administration has also been provided for refugees by the United States Foreign Operations Administration.
40. The Agency contributed to the costs of the Fifth Middle East Medical Assembly held in Beirut from 22-24 April 1955 and arranged an exhibit of community health education. The Assembly was attended by some seventy doctors from the Agency's staff and from the staff of hospitals and institutions subsidized by the Agency.
41. Regular meetings took place throughout the year in Jordan where medical papers were read, clinical cases discussed and, on occasion, addresses given by distinguished visitors.
42. World Health Day was this year devoted to the subject "Water, the Mirror of Health". An exhibit arranged by the Agency's Sanitation and Camp Maintenance Branch on the provision of drinking water to refugee camps was a part of the celebration in Lebanon. Broadcast talks in Arabic and English were given by the UNRWA epidemiologist and sanitary engineer on the theme of the day.
12. MEDICAL AND SANITARY SUPPLIES
43. During the period under review, supplies to the value of $344,084 have been received, excluding the cost of the X-ray equipment for the new Nablus Hospital. A new accounting and ordering system is expected still further to improve the distribution system.
1. The Agency's welfare services were established to deal with some of the many personal problems arising out of the chronic unemployment and underemployment of the refugees. Welfare's primary function is to create interests of some kind for the great mass of refugees who can find neither work nor other means of alleviating the deadening effects of years of idleness and frustration. It also assists individual cases of particular hardship. In fulfilling these functions, welfare officers deal with groups in welfare and other centres as well as with individual refugees. A further and very important function is to serve as the Agency's point of contact with the various voluntary agencies, whose assistance means so much to the welfare of the refugees.
2. GROUP ACTIVITIES
2. Recreational activities in welfare centres continued to attract large numbers throughout the year. Libraries have been established which provide for many refugees their only source of reading matter. Sports have been organized for the younger population, and various other group activities have been encouraged.
3. Plans have been made for the establishment of eight new community centres in the different host countries. Crafts, literacy campaigns, recreation, women's activities, scouting and other activities falling within the realm of true community centres will be in their scope. This is not an entirely new programme, but rather a move to achieve greater efficiency and service by combining the existing welfare and fundamental education centres into a new amalgamated type of community centres.
4. Women and girls (including schoolgirls on their free days) have an opportunity to learn sewing, embroidery, knitting and cutting in the Agency's sewing centres. The work includes mending donated clothing, making clothes from cloth, preparing layettes, making uniforms for workers and for scouts and guides. The Agency's health services take some part of the output of the centres; bazaars and displays have been held, the proceeds of local sales being distributed in small sums to the girls. Those attending the sewing centres are gradually led into learning to read and write, as well as arithmetic, house-crafts, home nursing, child care and so on. The value of the centres is demonstrated by the improved appearance of the girls and the rapidity with which they are selected for marriage.
5. The arts and crafts activity is administered separately from the sewing centres. About 1,200 trained girls are engaged in 20 arts and crafts centres, producing in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria goods suitable for a wide sale. Such goods include cloth, dresses, skirts, stoles, children's clothes, knitted goods, lace work, dolls, toys, leather goods, crusaders' jackets and table linen.
6. At present, Egypt and Saudi Arabia permit the import of these goods free of duty; it is hoped that similar exemptions may be negotiated with other Governments. Small quantities of goods have been sold in Europe, the Persian Gulf and the United States, and a special market survey is to be undertaken in the United States with a view to a possible expansion of the activity and consequent increased employment. Rugs made in Gaza are sold throughout the Middle East, and in Cyprus.
7. Cinema films are projected in Gaza and Jordan especially in the summer months when performances can be held in the open air.
8. Scout and guide troops have been organized in some areas, the number of applicants exceeding the facilities, leadership and funds available. Some of the scouts have put their training to practical use by helping in emergencies such as storms when tents have been flooded and people left without shelter.
9. Welfare officers in all areas report an increasing need and demand by refugees for play-centres or kindergartens, and plans are under way for their development. Such centres as exist at present have no qualified supervision and very limited equipment. In the new centres, volunteer teachers will be directed by trained supervisors; the programme will involve the active participation of mothers and should, therefore, benefit both mothers and children.
3. CASE WORK
10. The Agency's welfare staff provides a point of contact between individual refugees having special needs and other parts of the administration. For example, persons requiring artificial limbs, dentures and so forth are investigated by welfare staff and then presented to the Agency's medical staff for final examination and the provision of the necessary appliance. Similarly, representatives of the Agency's health and welfare services meet periodically with representatives of the Syrian Government to investigate and recommend the help needed by refugees in Syria suffering from tuberculosis. In connexion with the eradication of hook-worm from the children in an infested camp, the discovery of infestation was made by the school health team, publicity (including film shows) for methods of combatting the condition was arranged by the health and the welfare services, and a voluntary agency provided funds for the manufacture of sandals.
11. The Agency has no institution of its own for the care of the physically handicapped, the blind, the aged and the orphaned. Where such persons cannot be cared for by their own families, welfare workers are called on to help in placing them in existing institutions. Costs are normally covered by Governments or voluntary agencies, but most institutions will require some form of additional financial support if greater numbers of refugees in need are to be cared for. At present, such institutions can scarcely cope with the needs of the non-refugee populations.
12. Cases of extreme hardship are met by the distribution of clothing, blankets, food and in some cases cash. But the majority of cases coming to the attention of the Agency's welfare staff require counselling and guidance rather than material assistance. Such cases concern, for example, the settlement of marital problems, child welfare and delinquency. The reunion of separated families sometimes requires, in addition to the securing of travel documents and visas, arrangements to be made for travel.
4. VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
13. As in previous years, the Agency wishes to express its great appreciation for the inestimable services to the refugees of many voluntary agencies, religious and secular, local and foreign. Some of their services are supplementary to those of the Agency; in other cases, they have been called on to shoulder the burden of certain basic necessities. In the latter category, clothing is the most important.
14. The year under review has seen no major change in the general shape and direction of the activities performed by the different agencies; the reader is referred for a description of them to annex F of the Director's report to the ninth session of the General Assembly (A/2717). Supplies of supplementary food provided by them have, however, been very considerably increased as a result of the decision of the United States Government to put at their disposal free of charge large quantities of foodstuffs surplus to American requirements. The agencies have enlarged their own programmes (particularly with respect to help for the inhabitants of frontier villages not assisted by UNRWA) and have also given stocks to UNRWA's supplementary feeding programme. The voluntary societies' activities have been enlarged in another direction also by the effect of United States legislation, in that during the period under review arrangements have been finalized to put into action the provisions of the United States Refugee Relief Act whereby up to 2,000 immigration visas might be granted to Arab refugees from Palestine. This scheme is largely administered by the voluntary agencies. The first refugees to move to the United States left in May 1955.
15. As regards clothing, the voluntary agencies have continued their collection and dispatch of used articles. Stricter sorting and the elimination of articles that could not be useful to the Arab refugees has brought about a more efficient use of UNRWA's allotments for ocean freight. At the same time, a campaign for gifts of cloth, yarn and leather (which would permit refugees to make their own garments and shoes) has been started.
16. The following donations have been received in the year under review:
Clothing ...................... 976,921
Shoes ......................... 86,497
Blankets ...................... 17,871
Bedding ....................... 34,107
Medical supplies .............. 48,806
Foodstuffs .................... 1,791,755
Miscellaneous ................. 101,501
17. The value of the contribution of the voluntary agencies to the welfare of refugees cannot be measured in financial terms. Some, such as the Pontifical Mission, the Lutheran World Federation and the Near East Christian Council, import large quantities of supplies for the refugees; others, such as the Save the Children Fund, concentrate on service rather than supplies; and yet others, such as the Mennonite Central Committee, specialize in the collection of secondhand clothing.
18. The voluntary societies are an important means of interesting the world outside UNRWA's area of operations in the situation of the Arab refugees from Palestine. During the year under review, first-hand information was obtained by leading figures in a number of agencies who visited the Near East. These agencies were the Britis Council of Churches, the Christian Congregational Service Committee, the Church World Service, the Lutheran World Federation, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, the Save the Children Fund and the YMCA. Such visits also helped to confirm the already close working relationship of the agencies with UNRWA through the Central Co-ordinating Committee for Voluntary Agencies.
5. STAFF TRAINING
19. A programme of "In-service training", designed to improve the performance of welfare staff, has been in operation since August 1954. Regular staff meetings, seminars, refresher courses and the periodic issue of mimeographed information have been used as methods of training.
20. During the year, four meetings were held for the senior welfare officers in each of the Agency's four areas of operations. During these meetings, visits were paid to local institutions in the countries in which the meetings were held; and experts in social welfare provided through Governments and the United Nations gave talks. Similar meetings of all welfare staff in the field were held once every two months.
21. Training courses were organized in conjunction with the training of health educators to which reference has been made in annex B above. The courses included both academic studies and field work concerning community organization, group activities, case work and the co-ordination of the Agency's health and welfare services. Instructors came from the Agency as well as from outside organizations. Further courses are planned for the year 1955-1956.
1. THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF SELF-SUPPORT
1. For a refugee to support himself and his family, he must normally have a job. At present, there are too few jobs in the host countries, and a substantial increase in their number is one of UNRWA's prime objectives. The Agency has continued its efforts to find and develop projects of direct benefit to refugees; it is also concerned with furthering the general development of the area, so that refugees may benefit indirectly. At all times, the prudent utilization of the Agency's resources depends on economic judgment. How will a particular project proposed fit into the economic framework of the particular country, and will it be economically viable? The decentralized administration of self-support projects has, therefore, as a concomitant, a centralized service of economic information and advice.
2. The Agency's economics staff is constantly engaged on a number of studies of general importance. First is a [i:Bulletin of Economic Development,] a regular publication with a wide circulation among Governments and interested parties. During the year under review, two issues appeared of which one, entitled "Inventory of Major Economic Development Programmes and Projects in the Middle East", gave an over-all picture of economic developments in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, indicating the current status and cost of each project; the other provided information on current general economic trends in the same countries. Second, a study was made of the development of trade between certain Western European countries and the Arab Middle East. Third, a short comprehensive statistical account of the progress of the Agency's activities is kept up to date and published every six months. Fourth, as there are many gradations in the economic scale, and as it is the Agency's difficult task to determine at what point on the scale a refugee can be deemed to be self-supporting (so that its limited resources may be concentrated on the most needy), proposals have been worked out as to the different incomes at which families of different sizes in the various host countries might be regarded as self-supporting.
3. Studies of the economic implication of particular projects have been made as required. Among these was an agricultural economic survey of the Jordan Valley, completed in November 1954. On the basis of a detailed survey of present agricultural production, income and other factors, the economic results of the proposed Jordan-Yarmuk irrigation scheme were evaluated in terms of the numbers of newly-settled agriculturalists and of persons in ancillary employment that might be able to support themselves under appropriate conditions of land tenure. A similar study was made of the effect of the agricultural development under the Sinai Project on possible ancillary employment in trades, crafts, services and industry. So as to help individual refugees to find work in Iraq, a survey was made of present wages and salaries in that country; and, in order to assist the rational planning of the Agency's vocational training programme, the future needs of Iraq for skilled labour were studied: for at any rate five years the annual demand will considerably exceed the local supply. Also in connexion with the training programme, a study in Lebanon showed that the ceramics industry in that country could be expanded, given improved production methods and technical know-how in general. Certain other possibilities of industrial expansion in Lebanon were also shown to be real, provided cheap capital could be supplied. In Gaza, estimates were made of the viability of several proposals, particularly regarding the weaving and rug-making industries and the possible construction of a port.
2. SELF-SUPPORT PROJECTS IN J
4. Last year's annual report
described the two programme agreements between the Agency and the Government of Jordan from which the Agency's self- support projects depend. The first governs agricultural, commercial, housing, industrial and vocational training projects, including the Agency's share in the operation of the Development Bank of Jordan. This agreement is in the amount of $11 million, of which $2,407,326 has been expended, $534,506 in the year under review. The second agreement, which is in the amount of $40 million, is concerned with one project only: that for the development of the Yarmuk and Jordan Valleys. Total expenditures to date under it are $1,731,632, of which $998,708 has been spent in the year under review.
Development of the Yarmuk and Jordan Valleys
5. The background of this project, which would give employment to an estimated 12,000 persons for some years on constructional work and thereafter by the irrigation of about 500,000 dunums provide a living for between 100,000 and 150,000 people, was also described in last year's annual report.
Recently, attention has been focused on the preparation by the engineering contractors of a master plan based on the surveys which had been made to ascertain the best sites for dams and canals. That plan was expected to be received during July 1955, and was then to be studied by the various experts. Little further work on the main parts of the project can be undertaken pending the decisions--mostly of a political nature--that have now to be taken regarding the division and storage of the Yarmuk and Jordan waters. Negotiations looking to agreements on this matter have been under way for some time. The Agency has not participated directly in these negotiations, but has been kept informed as to their general import and trend. Expenditures on the engineers' contract (for surveys and plan) amount to $1,087,381.
6. On the assumption that the development project would include a dam at Maqarin on the Yarmuk, the Agency, at the request of the Government of Jordan, began the construction of an approach road from Irbed to Maqarin. The road has now been completed, save for asphalting, and the possibility of transferring to the Government the entire responsibility for the road and its upkeep is under discussion; $515,760 had been set aside for the construction of the road, and up to 30 June 1955 $443,157 had been expended.
7. Also preparatory to the main Yarmuk-Jordan Valley project was a limited anti-malaria campaign begun more than two years ago. Its results were so good that, on 12 July 1954, the Agency and the Government of Jordan agreed to a five-year malaria control programme aiming at the complete eradication of malaria from the Yarmuk and Jordan Valleys, including [i:wadis] entering those valleys between Maqarin and the Dead Sea. Since 1 May 1953, $148,000 has been spent out of the $404,207 set aside for the programme.
8. Part of the work preliminary to the preparation of the master plan was the examination and analysis of soils from private and state domain land in the entire Jordan Valley. It was completed by 31 March 1955. Most of the equipment of the UNRWA soils laboratory was given to the Government of Jordan on the understanding that all soil analysis required by the Agency would be carried out free of charge at all times at the Agricultural Research Station, Deir Alla. UNRWA had spent $37,744 on the laboratory out of $42,154 budgeted.
9. An exploratory drilling programme to evaluate ground water potential in the Jordan Valley was first considered in September 1953. Field studies were started in November 1953, but the plan for drilling wells in both the East and the West Ghors was abandoned early in July 1954.
10. In September, however, it was agreed by the parties concerned that exploratory drilling should be carried out in the West Ghor only and, on 15 November 1954, an agreement was signed with the Government of Jordan under which the Agency made available an amount of $95,000 for that purpose. The exploratory work was completed by the end of March 1955, and UNRWA then recommended that further ground water exploration and development should be
carried out on the West Ghor by the Agency alone, using $54,530 from the unspent balance, for the drilling of approximately 14 more wells in the areas of Merj Naaja, Wadi Faraa and Bardala. That is now being done, and it is anticipated that successful wells will provide water for additional agricultural settlements for refugees.
11. As anticipated in last year's report,
the 24 original families in the newly established Jordan Valley village of Merj Naaja were removed from the Agency's relief rolls in July 1954, as being self-supporting. Agitation on the part of two of the settlers persuaded all of them to ask to be returned to the refugee camp whence they had come, in spite of the fact that they were earning adequate incomes. After consultation with the Government, it was agreed that these families would be returned to the camps in March 1955. The project was re-established in June with 28 new settler families. These appear very satisfied and they cooperate fully with the Agency and the Government, which since 23 June 1955 has been administratively responsible for the project. In the course of this operation, the houses were maintained and the irrigation system overhauled. In this settlement, each family has been provided with a house, twenty dunums of irrigated land, one bullock, one cow, 20 sheep, seeds,
fodder and farm implements. Educational facilities and medical care are provided by the Agency for one year, after which the Government will be responsible for those services. One hundred and eighty individuals have been made self-supporting at Merj Naaja.
12. It is intended to enable 18 families to become self-supporting on 900 dunums of rain-fed land at Kalonia, near Jerusalem. The housing units have been completed except for certain finishing touches; their construction has been supervised by the Government, but financed by UNRWA.
13. The El Hebeileh project is for the establishment of 80 families on some 6,000 dunums of rained land near Hebron. The houses had been completed by the end of June 1954, but a detailed examination of the land revealed that only about 3,000 dunums were suitable for agriculture. As that area would permit each family to have only half the amount of rain-fed land necessary for self-support, it was decided to convert the project into a combined agricultural and pastoral one. Each family will be provided with a house, 40 dunums of rain-fed land, a mule, 20 sheep, seeds, fodder and farm implements. Educational and medical facilities will, again, be provided by the Agency for one year. The selection of the settlers is in hand.
14. The settlement at Jisr el Majameh, near the confluence of the Yarmuk and the Jordan, whose houses had also been completed before the end of June 1954, was formally established on 26 January 1955 when the Minister of Development in the Government of Jordan handed the keys of a house to each of the 40 heads of families moving in. The original intention had been to settle the families on 2,800 dunums of rain-fed land; but, on 9 June 1955, it was agreed between the Agency and the Government to take in 500 additional dunums, to arrange for their irrigation, to re-distribute the total land then available and to settle an additional 30 families on it. The necessary work is being undertaken, and eventually each family will receive a house, 40 dunums of rain-fed land, six dunums of irrigated land, one dunum of sprinkler irrigated land, a bullock, a cow, seeds, fodder and farm implements. This project is administered and supervised by the Government under the terms of two agreements with the Agency--one for the original extent of the settlement, the other for its expansion--and 250 refugees have been made self-supporting by its means.
Urban housing projects
15. Following the surveys described in the previous annual report
for new low-cost urban housing to enable those who are partially self-supporting to become entirely so by the removal of the burden of rent, two new projects have been implemented at the Agency's expense under the technical and administrative responsibility of the Government of Jordan.
16. The first is on the Jebel Nazif outside Amman. The agreement with the Government of Jordan, which covers the construction of 48 housing units at a cost of $111,345, was signed on 3 May 1955. It is estimated that construction, which has begun, will be completed by April 1956. This project follows an earlier project for building 50 houses in Amman, which was finished in 1952.
17. Building work at the second, at Sheikh Jarrah, near Jerusalem, has also been started. Housing for 28 families will be built at a cost of $55,636 made available by the Agency to the Government under an agreement signed on 16 November 1954.
18. Further negotiations are under way with the Government of Jordan for the selection of suitable sites in the Hebron and Irbed districts for similar
Development Bank of Jordan
19. As reported last year,
the Bank was established under an agreement dated 8 June 1951 between the Agency and the Government of Jordan to make long-term agricultural and industrial loans that would result in employment for refugees. Its authorized capital is JD.500,000 ($1,400,000) of which JD.400,000 is to come from UNRWA.
20. During the financial year ending 31 March 1955, the paid-up capital of the Bank has been raised from JD.311,357 to JD.367,507 (UNRWA participation now JD.300,000). Out of this capital, there were in operation at that date 157 loans, of which 141 were in the agricultural field (to a total of just over JD.201,000) and 16 in the industrial sector (totalling almost JD.103,000).
21. The new loans for agricultural development were in general allotted for the same purposes as were mentioned in the previous annual report: financing of terracing, of irrigation canals and wells, of fruit trees, of livestock, of housing for farm labour, etc. In the industrial field, the possibilities for granting loans were very limited during the period concerned; for the financial year 1955-1956, however, some relatively important industrial loans are under consideration.
22. The total number of refugees employed on projects to which the Bank has contributed financially has increased from approximately 1,000 at the end of March 1954 to at least 1,500 at the end of March 1955. Appropriate steps are being taken to make these refugees completely self-supporting, so far as that object has not already been achieved.
23. The net profit of the Bank during the last financial year was JD.10,207, as compared to JD.5,590 in the preceding period. Repayments of loans and interest have been very satisfactory. They amounted, from 1 November 1951 through 30 June 1954, to 99.75 per cent of the total amount due and, for the period from 1 July 1954 through 31 March 1955, to 95.31 per cent. When considering the latter percentage, it should be recalled that poor rainfall during the last winter adversely affected the harvest and thus in certain cases repayment possibilities also.
24. The Ghor Nimrin Tent Factory near Jericho has continued to operate satisfactorily, giving employment to about 150 refugees.
25. So as to initiate a programme of small grants to refugees who, by their own efforts, were already partially self-supporting, the Agency and the Ministry of Development in the Government of Jordan, on 18 August 1954, signed an agreement whereby the Agency set aside $100,000 for the purpose. Some agitation against the implementation of the agreement appeared in the local Press, although hundreds of applications had been made by individual refugees. Shortly after wards, the Government informed the Agency that it did not wish to continue with the agreement. As there is a substantial demand for grants, it is believed that it will be possible to make arrangements for assisting deserving applicants.
26. The Agency submitted a proposal to the Government of Jordan for extending through the end of 1955 the period during which the Agency would pay for the Administrative and Technical Unit in the Ministry of Development. This unit is responsible to the Government for initiating and carrying out individual projects financed by the Agency. It appeared that agreement would be reached with the Government soon after the end of the year.
27. Additional funds were provided for the Economic Planning Unit in the Ministry of Economy to extend its activities for a further period of 12 months commencing October 1954. This was due to the need for preparing a comprehensive plan for the economic development of the Kingdom of Jordan including the framing of a short-range programme of investment, the preparation of an economic survey of the country, and the undertaking of special studies and projects of work relevant to the economic welfare of the State.
3. SELF-SUPPORT PROJECTS IN S
28. The $30-million programme agreement for the development of self-support projects in Syria that was signed on 13 October 1952 between the Agency and the Syrian Government and which, as stated in the previous annual report,
was due to expire on 30 June 1954, was extended until 31 December 1954. The agreement was not renewed beyond that date, as the Agency did not consider itself justified in continuing to earmark such a substantial sum of money for projects in Syria in the absence of some indication from the Government of potential projects. It was understood by both the Government and the Agency representatives, however, that the lapsing of the agreement would not in any way prevent exploration for new projects and the carrying out of any to be agreed upon.
29. The Agency's plans for the settlement at Ramadan, some forty kilometres east of Damascus in the desert, were fully described in the previous annual report.
Here it suffices to report that the settlement became fully established in February 1955 when 50 families, chosen from some 300 applicants, moved into the village. The first 1,200 dunums of irrigated land were distributed among the settlers at the rate of four dunums per person. Work on the concrete lining of the irrigation channels is in progress, and water reservoirs will be constructed. Additional accommodation will also be provided, such as community facilities (school, mosque, administrative centre and market place), and dwellings for permanent personnel, shopkeepers and artisans.
30. The Agency is contemplating increasing the settlement by an additional 35 families, and will take a decision when, at the end of the summer of 1955, the extent of water availability has been demonstrated.
31. The Agency's difficulties in connexion with the settlement at Debaa (south of Homs) have been described in the previous annual report.
In the end, during September 1954, 20 refugee families totalling 99 persons were transferred to the project. Land was distributed at an average of 75 dunums per family. Cash grants for livestock and traditional agricultural implements were given. The families obtained a share in the winter crop grown by the Agency and harvested in May-June 1954. A first establishment grant in aid of LS.50 per ration recipient was paid to the head of the family.
32. After several meetings between government officials and the Agency, a comprehensive proposal for a small grants programme providing for a maximum uniform ceiling on both agricultural and non-agricultural grants has been in principle accepted by the Government. During the period under review, $12,135 were paid out for individual grants.
4. SELF-SUPPORT PROJECTS IN E
GYPT AND THE
33. This project, which was described in the previous annual report,
is based on agreements entered into by the Agency and the Egyptian Government. The first was a broad programme agreement for the cooperation of the two parties in searching for practicable projects in the Sinai peninsula as well as in the Gaza strip. According to this agreement the Agency undertook to finance the economic and engineering surveys of any projects up to $500,000. The second was a specific project agreement in which the Government offered to make available for the benefit of the refugees residing in the Gaza strip not less than 50,000 feddans of undeveloped state domain in north-west Sinai; its reclamation would be accomplished by the utilization of the waters of the Nile, which would flow to and be siphoned under the Suez Canal in sufficient quantities to reclaim and permanently irrigate this area to provide 10,000 refugee families from the Gaza strip with a means of livelihood by cultivating the soil.
34. A study of the engineering and economic feasibility of the project was undertaken jointly by the Agency and the Egyptian Government. Essential but time-consuming survey work regarding the geology, topography and other aspects of the area, as well as agricultural and economic studies, were carried out. The engineers investigated the siting of canals, pumping stations, and the siphon, as well as the construction of all works. The agriculturalists planned the agricultural development of the area, making a study of the crops and trees that could be grown and of the requirements of the farm families in respect of animals, tools, seeds, water, accommodation and so forth. The economists made studies of the possible income and necessary expenditures on the proposed farms, assessing the farm budgets and applying their conclusions to the economic development of the area as a whole. Finally, recommendations were made regarding the facilities (houses, roads, community buildings, experimental agricultural stations, health services, schools, administration, etc.) that were considered to be necessary for the rapid agricultural development of the project. A detailed report containing the conclusions arrived at is to be completed shortly after the end of the year under review. This report will be submitted to the Egyptian Government and the Director of the Agency for their consideration and decision.
35. It is estimated that the basic construction work of the irrigation system could be completed in a period of three years; that 50,000 to 60,000 refugees could move on to the land within five years thereafter; and that self-support for the total project could be accomplished in from three to six years after the last refugees have moved on to the land. The climatic conditions and the sandy soils found in the project area are similar to those found in several areas of Egypt where successful irrigation has been carried out for a very long time, and the agricultural pattern will therefore be similar also. With normal soil treatment, such sandy soils are suitable for the cultivation of fruit trees, vegetables and certain field crops. It is expected that a certain number of ancillary services--trades, crafts, co-operatives and small industrial activities--will be established, the minimum number of families required in these services being estimated at 700. The number of public administration workers in agriculture, irrigation, civil administration, education, health and social services was estimated at 1,500. The estimates of costs of the project included provision for these 2,200 additional families which could be installed and made self-supporting.
Projects in Gaza
36. A systematic soils analysis made during the year 1953-1954 showed that the area of cultivated land in the Gaza strip could be somewhat increased if land that was not entirely sterile were protected by afforestation from the encroaching sand dunes. A programme of afforestation was therefore started in that year by the planting of one million seedlings in nurseries. In the year under review, the resulting trees have been planted out, and 400,000 new seedlings planted in the nurseries. It appears that no further afforestation is worth while in Gaza, as no land over and above that now being protected is likely to be cultivable.
37. It was suggested by the Egyptian authorities that the tenuous economy of Gaza might be improved if a port were built and the necessity of lightering in an open roadstead removed. During the year under review, the French Government provided the services of an expert to survey the feasibility of the proposal. He concluded that a small port for schooners and small ships might be practical, but was awaiting (at the end of the reporting period) further technical information from the Egyptian Government before making a firm recommendation.
5. PLACEMENT SERVICE
38. The number of applications completed by the refugees at the placement offices in Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon now amounts to 25,621, all representing individuals seeking jobs in their country of residence or elsewhere in the Middle East. The applicants are mainly administrative and clerical personnel and semi-skilled artisans. In addition, lists of farmers and labourers looking for casual employment are kept in all area offices. Jordan and Lebanon remain the most active placement offices. But the Egyptian authorities have expressed the desire that more refugees in Gaza be found employment outside the strip; it is hoped that various formalities may therefore be relaxed and the Agency's Placement Service become more active. The placement operation in Syria remains suspended pending that Government's recognition of the Service as an Agency function.
39. The Placement Service is the channel for all recruitment, daily paid or regular, for the Agency and Agency-sponsored projects. Other employers of refugees are the oil and construction companies in the Persian Gulf area, government departments in host countries and in the British protectorates, as well as the United States Foreign Operations Administration (Point Four) in Libya and Jordan and the United States Air Force in Libya. The Agency received over 307 vacancy notifications during the last year from employers outside the host countries.
40. During the year under review, the Placement Service found employment for 30,454 individuals as follows:
Daily paid labour ................................. .............. 28,376
Agency personnel ................................................. 1,653
Employment in host countries (other than with
UNRWA) ......................................................... 319
Employment elsewhere ............................................ 106
41. A total of 221 refugees who had secured immigration visas through their own efforts had their fares paid by the Agency and received installation grants during the year under review. They went to Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Kuwait, Liberia, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tanganyika, the United States of America and Venezuela. As regards migrants under the United States Refugee Relief Act, which provides for the admittance of 2,000 Palestinian refugees, the Agency, in co-operation with the voluntary societies, helped the refugees by making available its records and its medical and X-ray services and by transporting during the year under review 29 ration recipients at Agency expense.
42. On the repatriation side, 67 refugees from Palestine who were citizens of the following countries received travel grants to go home: Argentina, Egypt, Honduras, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
43. Since the inception of the $200 million fund, direct expenditure for projects, special activities and vocational training undertakings have amounted to $6,984,904 to 30 June 1955. Expenditures from the fund on elementary and secondary education, which have also been founded from the $200 million since 1 July 1953, amounted to $5,505,553 up to 30 June 1955. In addition, substantial amounts have been spent on administration and other related costs of the self-support programme, including a proportion of common services.
44. As in last year's report, four tables
are appended, which summarize the position of the Agency as regards commitments and expenditures from the $200 million fund, and as regards the number of people made self-supporting. These tables are:
(1) Summary of expenditures from the $200 million fund
(2) Status of programme agreements
(3) Status of all projects and special activities in operation during the fiscal year 1954-1955
(4) Ration reductions resulting from project operations during the period 1 January 1951 to 30 June 1955.
SUMMARY OF TOTAL EXPENDITURES FROM THE $200 MILLION FUND
1 January 1951 to 30 June 1955
1 January 1951- 1 July 1954- Total to
Description 30 June 1954 30 June 1955 30 June 1955
$ $ $
Primary and secondary education ... 2,490,654 3,014,899 5,505,553
Rehabilitation administration ..... 1,427,411 460,293 1,887,704
Share of common services .......... 3,574,539 790,456 4,364,995
Special activities .............. 125,863 440,936 566,799
Research, experimentation and planning 1,271,375 1,264,850 2,536,225
Vocational training and higher education . 834,427 529,233 1,363,660
Agricultural and lands development .... 569,935 210,829 780,764
Urban housing and community facilities ... 68,435 34,421 102,856
Commercial, financial and industrial ....1,029,400 72,117 1,101,517
Placement services .................... 81,537 46,604 128,141
Loans, grants, assistance to individuals . 298,577 76,437 375,014
Miscellaneous unclassified ............... 29,928
TOTAL PROJECTS 4,183,614 2,234,491 6,418,105
TOTAL 11,802,081 6,941,075 18,743,156
STATUS OF PROGRAMME AGREEMENTS
Actual expenditure under terms
Commitments of programme
Country and type of Date Termination Amount of to agreements to
agreement Signed date agreement 30 June 1955 30 June 1955 Remarks
$ $ $
) General economic and agricultural devel-
opment and vocational training ..... 12 May 1952 Unspecified 11,000,000 4,783,834 2,407,326
) Yarmuk-Jordan Valley development 30 March 1953 30 June 1955 40,000,000 2,237,525 1,731,632 Negotiations now under way for the ex- tension of agreement to 30 June 1956.
General economic and agricultural develop-
ment and vocational training ............. 13 October 1952 31 December 1954 30,000,000 2,116,843 875,001
General economic and agricultural develop-
ment in the Sinai and Gaza areas ......... 30 June 1953 31 March 1955 30,000,000 1,036,451 554,129 The extension of agreement to 31 December 1955 is being contemplated.
TOTAL 111,000,000 10,174,653 5,568,088
STATUS OF ALL PROJECTS AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES IN OPERATION
During the period 1 July 1954 to 30 June 1955
(Including projects not operative under terms of programme agreements)
Expenditures and ration reductions are cumulative from date of inception
Estimated number of Rations
rations to be removed to
removed 30 June 1955
Number Estimated Temporary expenditure Temporary
of direct Per- ration to Per- ration
Country projects cost manent months 30 June 1955 manent months Description and remarks $ $
Jordan ............. 35 6,521,084 8,048 29,324 3,881,922 1,887 25,094 Of the 35 projects in Jordan 11 are for re-search, 12 are vocational training projects, 5 for agricultural development, 2 for industrial and commercial enterprises, 4 for loans.
Syria ............. 9 1,737,862 5,228 6,841 727,682 2,628 6,959 Includes 1 research project, 4 training projects,
2 agricultural developments, the loans and grants programme, and 1 placement activity project.
Lebanon .......... 10 105,808 80 3,263 90,980 144 2,607 Includes 9 training projects and the placement services.
Egypt ............. 2 317,755
2 projects on the Sinai survey.
Gaza .............. 10 606,974
Includes 1 research project, 7 technical training projects and 2 agricultural projects in Gaza.
Iraq ............. 3 209,744 390
15,873 121 239 Loans to commercial enterprises.
and miscellaneous .... 14 651,504 619 5,277 399,552 770 2,712 Includes 3 research projects, 8 special training
courses, 3 grants projects.
SUB-TOTAL 83 10,150,731 14,365 44,705 5,586,954 5,595 37,611
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES 18
961,074 94 494,137 205 291
10 special activities are operated by headquarters, TOTAL 101 11,111,805 14,365 44,799 6,081,091 5,800 37,902 2 by Jordan, 4 by Gaza and 2 by
RATION REDUCTIONS RESULTING FROM PROJECT OPERATIONS
For the period from 1 January 1951 to 30 June 1955
Expenditures Ration reductions
1 January 1951-
Category 30 June 1955 Permanent Temporary
Research, experimentation, planning ......................... 2,536,225 51 13,314
Vocational training ......................................... 1,363,660 1,977 13,489
Agricultural development .................................... 780,764 742 10,391
Urban housing ............................................... 102,856 253 190
Industrial and commercial ................................... 1,101,517 789 3,153
Placement ................................................... 128,141 1,471 10,484
Assistance to individuals ................................... 375,014 2,301 30
Miscellaneous ............................................... 29,928
6,418,105 7,584 51,101
In addition 215 permanent and 304 temporary ration reductions were effected as a result
of special activities as of 30 June 1955, as well as 2,235 permanent and 2,952 temporary
rations as a result of employment of teachers, thus bringing the grand total of ration reduc-
tions to 10,034 permanent rations and 54,357 temporary ration months.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
1. The total number of refugee pupils who received elementary and secondary education at the Agency's expense during the past year was approximately 161,000, compared with somewhat less than 155,000 in 1953-1954. Of the 161,000, 105,000 attended UNRWA/UNESCO schools, the balance going to government and private schools under the grants-in-aid system established by the Agency.
2. During the school year 1954-1955, the Agency continued its educational programmes along the general lines indicated in last year's annual report. It gave particular attention to measures designed to attract more and better qualified teachers and to raise standards of the present staff.
3. One of the most difficult problems which the Agency faces in the general field of education is the shortage of properly qualified teachers. The Agency is seeking to overcome this shortage by a series of measures, including an increase in the salary scale,
the expansion of the teacher-training programme and better classroom facilities.
4. The salary scale for Agency teachers was adopted in 1952, and no modification has been made since then. At the time of its adoption it was believed to be generally in line with teachers' salaries in the area. However, since that time teachers' salaries in the government and private schools of the host countries have been increased substantially, while salaries paid in the outlying, oil-rich areas of the Arab world are much higher still. The result was that each year large numbers of the Agency's best teachers resigned to take up appointments elsewhere, leaving the Agency with a residue of elderly teachers who were reluctant to move, or with inadequately qualified younger ones. During the winter of 1954-1955, the Agency devised a new scale of teachers' salaries, effective on 1 July 1955. It is in line with teachers' salaries paid in the host countries and is also based on the normal Agency grading system. It raises the minimum salary from the equivalent of $34 to $46 per month, but assures teachers who have completed their secondary education of a
monthly salary equivalent to about $61.50; salaries rise to an equivalent of about $100 per month for university graduates. It is hoped that the new scale with its modest increments for experience and length of service, and the opportunity it provides teachers for improving their salaries by improving their qualifications, will give the refugee teachers of the Agency (numbering about 2,670) a sense of belonging to a respected profession, as many of them did before 1948.
5. In addition, several steps were taken during 1954-1955 to improve the technical efficiency of the teaching staff. Summer refresher courses have been revised, their academic content reduced and a correspondingly greater emphasis placed on practice teaching under the supervision of qualified educators from outside the Agency system. In addition, an experimental project was conducted in Lebanon whereby a small number of teachers in training were attached to a succession of experienced teachers and worked under their guidance throughout the school year. A programme for the institution of teacher-training colleges is referred to under section 6 of the present annex.
6. Though the educational efficiency of the UNRWA/UNESCO system is sometimes criticized in the host countries, it is only fair to point out that when Agency pupils compete in government examinations with the pupils of government or private schools, the pupils
of Agency schools almost invariably receive higher marks, pupil for pupil and school for school. It is therefore considered appropriate for the Agency to take this opportunity of commending the teaching staff as a whole, regardless of their professional qualifications,
for their enthusiasm, mental alertness and achievements under many difficult conditions.
7. As to physical facilities, sizeable school-building programmes were carried forward, particularly in Gaza and in Jordan. In both areas, new construction showed a marked improvement over older types of school buildings. Better designing made it possible, without increasing costs, to admit more light and air into the new classrooms. Construction figures during the school year 1954-1955 are shown in the following table, figures in
parentheses being those for 1953-1954:
New schools Number of Classrooms added to
Area built classrooms existing schools
Gaza ............ 7 (2) 111 (7) 69 (59)
Jordan .......... 13 (8) 90 (89) 28 (54)
Lebanon ......... 2 (7) 20 (91) 6
22 (17) 221 (187) 103 (141)
8. Efforts to supply all schools with at least the necessary minimum of normal equipment continued throughout the year. Most new classrooms constructed during 1954-1955 contained built-in blackboards. The following table shows the supply of school furnishings during 1954-1955, with comparative figures for the previous year in parentheses:
Area Desks Tables Blackboards
Gaza ......... 3,000 (2,000) 200 (200) 33 (40)
Jordan ....... 3,115 (13,539) 486 (591) 200 (631)
Lebanon ...... 2,900 (2,385) 129 (121) 95 (129)
Syria ........ 800 (860) 76 (100) 50 (120)
9,815 (18,784) 891 (1,012) 378 (920)
9. In October 1954, a special activity programme was set up in Gaza to provide a mixed academic and handicrafts course for 2,000 pupils who would otherwise have gone forward to swell the numbers of pupils receiving the traditional academic secondary education. This programme entailed the training of a corps of teachers and the building and equipping of a number of simple workshop units where woodwork and metalwork were taught. The success of this experiment has encouraged the Agency to extend the programme as a part of the regular school curriculum in Gaza for the last two years of elementary schooling and the first two years of secondary. It is hoped to extend the programme to Agency schools in Jordan in 1956. Not only does this training in handicrafts serve to broaden the school curriculum, it also provides a useful preparation and initiation for pupils who will later present themselves for vocational training.
10. During the past year there was a further normalization of the UNRWA/UNESCO elementary school system, as well as in the enrolment of refugee pupils in government and private schools who benefit by the grants-in-aid system. In previous years, a substantial number of the refugee children who presented themselves for the first time for primary education were more than 6 years old. For the school year 1954-1955, the new intake was largely confined to boys and girls of 6. As a consequence, the number of pupils entering the first elementary classes in the Agency schools decreased from 31,000 in 1953-1954 to 27,718
11. Although the number of pupils entering school for the first time decreased, the total number of elementary pupils increased. For example, those in the Agency's elementary schools increased from 90,748 in May 1954 to 98,427 in May 1955. This increase was caused, first, by the abnormally large number of pupils who entered school in 1952-1953 and in 1953-1954 and who have now completed the second and third elementary classes; second, by the decrease in the dropping-out rate of pupils, especially of girls. Both factors will continue to influence the total number of elementary pupils for several years: the first until the school year 1958-1959, in which year the last abnormally large class will have completed sixth elementary; the influence of the second factor will continue during the next ten or more years, as the dropping-out of girls from school continues to decrease.
12. Although the net increase in attendance at Agency elementary schools was about 8,000, the percentage increase has begun to drop to more normal proportions as the new intake of pupils into the first elementary classes becomes more and more restricted to the proper age group of six-year-olds. The figures over the past few years show this movement: in 1952-1953 the percentage increase was 48 percent, in 1953-1954 it was 38.7 percent and in 1954-1955 it had fallen to 10.8 percent.
13. The Agency continued to subsidize the education of a large number of refugee pupils in government and private elementary schools. The number of these assisted pupils amounted to 50,549 in 1954-1955. This should be compared with the corrected figure of 47,967 for the period 1953-1954 rather than with the figure which appeared in last year's annual report. Adding the totals of the grants-in-aid to the total pupils in Agency schools, the percentage of the total refugee population receiving elementary education has increased from 15 per cent in 1953-1954 to 16.5 per cent in 1954-1955.
14. The Agency continued to be faced with the problem of overcrowded classrooms in elementary schools. In some schools it proved necessary to have classes of 70, 80 and even more. In the hands of none too well qualified teachers, such large groups are, of course, difficult to instruct. Next year it is proposed to impose a ceiling of 55 whenever practicable, and to seek to maintain an over-all average of 50 pupils per classroom.
15. The exceptionally mild and sunny winter made for consistently high attendance figures. The only blot on an otherwise very satisfactory attendance record was to be found in Syria, and particularly in the Damascus area. School children there frequently participate in political demonstrations. This practice, which originated in government and private schools, has spread to the Agency's schools and is having a marked effect on scholastic achievement and orderly habits of work. The Damascus area was also the scene of a very regrettable teachers' strike which kept refugee children out of school during the latter part of March and the first few days of April.
16. A serious handicap in the education of refugee pupils is the situation with regard to clothing. The clothing of many of the refugee children is in such a deplorable condition that, when there are cold or wet spells, many ragged and barefooted pupils are obliged to stay at home.
17. It is interesting to note that the attendance of girl pupils in Agency schools has tripled in five years, as the following figures show:
June June June May May
Area 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955
Gaza ........... 5,357 5,410 6,189 8,652 10,507
Jordan ......... 4,349 4,526 10,035 14,249 15,589
Lebanon ........ 1,029 2,076 3,169 4,154 4,337
Syria .......... 941 727 2,074 3,585 3,693
11,676 12,739 21,467 30,640 34,126
This is satisfactory progress, in particular because the new intake of girls in the first elementary class in 1954-1955 was only 2,504 below the new intake of boys (15,111 as against 12,607).
18. As larger numbers of pupils gradually reach the top classes of the elementary schools, the number of pupils entering secondary education increases. The percentage of pupils in secondary schools, compared with the total primary population, jumped from 5 per
cent in 1953-1954 to 9 per cent in 1954-1955 and will reach 12.5 per cent in 1955-1956. This is the over-all percentage for all four areas. There are, however, big differences between the areas in this respect. In Gaza, for instance, where mass education started earlier than in the other areas and where the opportunity to find work after the completion of primary education is almost non-existent, the percentage of the secondary school population, compared with the total elementary school population, is 20.8 per cent. In Jordan and Lebanon where the refugee population is scattered, the percentages are 6.8 per cent and 9 per cent respectively; whereas in Syria, where 75 per cent of the refugees inhabit Damascus or its environs and where, consequently, secondary education is more easily obtained, the percentage is about 11.5 per cent.
19. The Agency is therefore planning to admit increasing numbers into the secondary schools each year, until at least the level obtaining in, say, Jordan is reached. There are three main justifications for this policy. First, the percentage of pupils receiving education in the host countries is rising steadily from year to year. If in five years' time the percentage of pupils receiving secondary education at the expense of the Agency reaches, say, 22 per cent, it is believed that this will constitute a normal and reasonable figure by comparison with what will then be the prevailing ratio in countries like Jordan. Second, unless the Agency keeps pace with this development it will impose a distinct handicap upon the adolescent refugee population. Refugee young men and women, if not educated up to prevailing local standards, will not be in position to take advantage of opportunities for employment requiring standard educational qualifications. Third, to take proper advantage of the gradual economic expansion in the Near East, increasing numbers of refugees must receive vocational training. This type of training cannot be superimposed on six years of elementary education only. There must be some basis of secondary education.
20. It is recognized that, in carrying out the above mentioned policy, selection of all pupils proceeding to secondary education must be made on a rigorous academic basis.
21. The Agency has resisted the temptation to set up a complete secondary school system staffed by its own teachers. It is more economical and more consistent with the limited qualifications of the existing staff to restrict Agency-operated classes to the first and second and, exceptionally, to the third secondary level. Pupils at higher levels continue their studies in government or private schools at Agency expense. Where facilities do
not exist in Agency schools, a grant-in-aid is paid to cover fees and books. The amount of this grant-in-aid remains at the equivalent of $40 per pupil for all host countries except Lebanon. There the cost of education in both government and private schools is appreciably
higher. The amount of the grant, for Lebanon only, was raised in November 1954 to the equivalent of $70 per pupil. The number of secondary school pupils as at the end of May 1955 was:
UNRWA/UNESCO Government Private
Area schools schools schools
Gaza ............ 3,339 1,129 270
Jordan .......... 1,694 1,364 586
Lebanon ......... 620
Syria ........... 671 1,031 453
6,324 3,524 1,709
22. The scope of the UNRWA university scholar-ship project was expanded considerably in 1954-1955, with 300 students receiving full assistance as against 200 in the previous year. As in former years, refugee students from Gaza and Jordan, who composed the great majority of the scholarship-holders, attended universities in Egypt, while those from Lebanon were registered in the American University of Beirut and those from Syria in the Syrian University. All scholar-ship-holders were allowed to follow approved courses of study only. The following table shows the distribution of 300 UNRWA scholarship-holders by faculties and schools:
Agriculture ........................... 12
Arts .................................. 68
Commerce .............................. 14
Dentistry ............................. 1
Education ............................. 4
Engineering ........................... 35
Law ................................... 12
Medicine .............................. 63
Pharmacy .............................. 4
Sciences .............................. 47
Veterinary ............................ 4
In addition, 36 students from Jordan took the one-year pre-university course in Cairo to prepare them for entrance to Egyptian universities. The numbers in the above table include 30 students graduating in 1955 who were distributed as follows:
Agriculture ........................... 1
Arts .................................. 11
Commerce .............................. 2
Engineering ........................... 1
Law ................................... 3
Medicine .............................. 9
Pharmacy .............................. 1
Sciences .............................. 1
Veterinary ............................ 1
23. During the past year, activities were carried on under normal conditions in the 39 fundamental education centres operated by the Agency. Eight of these are in Lebanon, six in Syria, 15 in Jordan and ten in Gaza. In most centres there is a special section for women
as well as a craft-training section for men where weaving, carpentry, agriculture, shoemaking and tailoring are taught. The following table shows the number of persons taking advantage of the various activities in the centres:
Area Re-education Re-training Recreation Total
Gaza ............. 2,484 3,179 17,200 22,863
Jordan ........... 1,669 1,368 13,552 16,589
Lebanon .......... 574 385 681 1,640
Syria ............ 689 243 1,927 3,168
5,416 5,175 33,360 44,260
24. All duplication of effort between fundamental education and social welfare was eliminated during 1954-1955 and plans were completed for the establishment in 1955-1956 of a number of community centres designed to embrace all the multiple refugee camp activities having anything to do with self-help for adults in any of its three main aspects of re-education, re-training or recreation. It will later be possible to extend this system to all camps and bring together under one roof fundamental education, social welfare and health education activities (see also annex C to the present report).
6. VOCATIONAL TRAINING
25. Vocational training continued to receive great emphasis during the year and encouraging progress was made. As the result of a number of surveys, particularly in Iraq, it has become increasingly clear that properly qualified skilled workers can be absorbed into the expanding industrial activity of the Arab world. The same is true, in their respective spheres, of agricultural leaders and of school-teachers. For this reason, the Agency is preparing to expand its activities in these three branches of training. A significant additional reason for this decision is that professional training of this kind can usefully replace purely academic secondary education, at least after the second or third year of secondary schooling.
26. During 1954-1955, training was offered to young refugees in 11 different trades both at the Agency's vocational training centre at Kalandia, near Jerusalem, and at the second of the Agency's full-scale vocational training centres which was opened at Gaza in October 1954. The following tables shows the distribution of the trainees by trades in the two institutions:
Radio mechanics ................... 9
Electricians ...................... 10 29
Wiremen ........................... 16
Fitter/Machinists ................. 14 38
Blacksmiths ....................... 16 32
Plumbers .......................... 16
Draughtsmen ....................... 3
Woodworkers ....................... 16 14
Builders .......................... 16
27. In addition, full-time courses were also conducted at Agency expense in government and private institutions in Lebanon. These comprised training in surveying, engineering and wood working. There were, in addition, part-time courses in commercial work in Syria and Lebanon, and courses in professional cutting and dressmaking in Syria.
28. Construction of an agency training centre for agricultural leaders was begun in June 1955. This institution is situated near the village of Beit Hanoun, in the north-eastern corner of the Gaza strip. It is hoped that conditions in the troubled Gaza area will be
favourable enough to permit the centre to be completed and opened before the end of this year.
29. In connexion with teacher-training, plans were well advanced in July 1955 for the setting up at the opening of the academic year of two small pilot teacher training centres, one for men teachers at Jerusalem and the other for women teachers at Nablus. They are
primarily intended to provide experience which will be useful in the planning and running of the courses in the permanent teacher-training colleges, the first of which is planned to open in October 1956. Better methods of teaching the existing subjects, rather than
the teaching of new subjects, will be the aim.
30. Since the Agency lays emphasis on the development and expansion of all three forms of training, it is proper to give in this report some indication of plans for the future. As far as the training of skilled workers is concerned, the following are the most significant
) The vocational training centres at Kalandia and Gaza are to be expanded. Work on the extension of the Kalandia centre is already well under way.
) A production unit for school furniture will be set up in Kalandia. It will be equipped with modern woodcutting machinery, which will provide the trainees with training in production methods in the latter part of their course. Each pair of trainees will work along-side competent skilled workers.
) Expansion of the vocational training centre at Gaza will this year mainly take the form of double shifting, thus enabling existing facilities to cater to double the number of trainees. It is also planned to build dormitories in connexion with the Gaza centre. This is not just because of transportation difficulties; it is primarily because of the opportunities a residential centre gives for the development of character.
) It is still planned to build a girls' vocational training centre in Jordan. Just as construction was about to begin on the site at Shu'fat, near Jerusalem, in the spring of 1955, building plans had to be cancelled because of objections made by the military
authorities. A less exposed, but in other ways equally suitable, site has now been found near Ramallah.
) During the past year the Agency has actively explored the possibility of setting up in Lebanon and Syria vocational training centres of the type it has already successfully established in Jordan and Gaza. The situation in both Lebanon and Syria in this respect is now distinctly more promising than it was. To expedite the construction of new centres once the preliminary negotiations are concluded, a prototype plan for a boys' vocational training centre and standardized lists of equipment for the main trades in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and building are being prepared.
31. It is hoped that the Agency's new agricultural training centre at Gaza will serve as a prototype for similar centres in other areas. The Agency is already exploring the possibility of constructing an agricultural centre in Lebanon, just south of Sidon, and in
the Aleppo area, in Syria. It is also planned to sponsor an agricultural training project in the Jordan valley.
32. The two pilot teacher-training projects have been referred to above. It is expected that they will directly influence the methods to be followed in training teachers on a larger scale from 1956 onwards. Such teachers when trained will not only be used to staff UNRWA/UNESCO schools and to improve the level of teaching in them but many will undoubtedly emigrate and secure well-paid jobs as teachers in other countries of the Arab world. Arrangements have been made with the Egyptian educational authorities in Gaza to begin the training of 320 men teachers and 80 women teachers during the coming year.
ALESTINE REFUGEES CHILDREN RECEIVING EDUCATION AS AT
Total number of assisted
refugee pupils in
clementary and secondary Total Estimated Percentage of total
Number Number of pupils in UNRWA/UNESCO schools classes in number number of refugee population
of refugee receiving education
UNRWA/ Elementary classes Secondary classes Government Private refugees population
UNESCO schools, schools, receiving June June June May
Country schools Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total pupils pupils education 1955 1953 1954 1955
Gaza ................ 52 23,710 10,306 34,016 3,138 201 3,339 1,771 1,770 40,896 214,601 14.2 17.7 19.05 Jordan .............. 150 26,618 15,526 42,144 1,631 63 1,694 22,471 10,464 76,773 499,606 12.5 14.15 15.5
Lebanon ............. 48 8,244 4,323 12,567 606 14 620 1,425 8,870 23,482 103,600 18.8 20.4 22.65
Syria ............... 54 6,128 3,572 9,700 550 121 671 7,511 1,685 19,567 88,179 18.9 22.8 22.18
304 64,700 33,727 98,427 5,925 399 6,324 33,1781 22,789 160,718 905,986 14.3 17.6 17.73
Last year's total proved on examination to have been over-estimated.
SCHOOLS, SHOWING NUMBER OF PUPILS PER CLASS AT THE END OF
1st class 2nd class 3rd class 4th class 5th class 6th class Total
Country Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls
Gaza ............. 3,953 3,033 4,628 2,957 4,504 2,022 3,996 1,138 3,523 711 3,106 445 23,710 10,306
Jordan ........... 6,995 6,375 5,940 4,873 5,662 2,723 3,626 889 2,805 552 1,590 114 26,618 15,526
Lebanon .......... 2,869 2,163 1,550 1,035 1,358 594 1,038 297 889 155 540 79 8,244 4,323
Syria ............ 1,294 1,036 1,648 1,158 1,328 725 928 367 624 170 306 116 6,128 3,572
15,111 12,607 13,766 10,023 12,852 6,064 9,588 2,691 7,841 1,588 5,542 754 64,700 33,727
AND GIRLS ..
. 27,718 23,789 18,916 12,279 9,429 6,296 98,427
1st secondary 2nd secondary 3rd secondary 4th secondary 5th secondary Total
Country Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total
Gaza ............ 2,006 154 2,160 881 47 928 188
3,138 201 3,339
Jordan .......... 901 57 958 482 6 488 166
26 1,631 63 1,694
Lebanon ......... 379 7 386 227 7 234
606 14 620
Syria ........... 331 69 400 128 30 158 91 22 113
550 121 671
3,617 287 3,904 1,718 90 1,808 445 22 467 119
26 5,925 399 6,324
Boys Girls Total
: Elementary classes...............64,700...............33,727................98,427
Secondary classes................ 5,925............... 399................ 6,324
70,625 34,126 104,751
1. In accordance with the usual practice, financial statements for the fiscal year ended 30 June 1955 will be presented separately with the report of the Board of Auditors and are not duplicated in the present report. The following comments high-light the more important aspects of the financial statements:
2. The presentation of the financial statements has been rearranged to conform to the practice of the United Nations. They now take the following order:
Statement of expenditure and income Statement of assets and liabilities Schedules of expenditure Schedules of contributions
Budget and expenditures
3. Expenditures for the relief programme totalled $22,281,630, against an approved budget of $25,100,241. The difference is due to the following factors: first, the trend in world prices for basic foods was more favourable than had been anticipated, with a resulting saving of about $1,400,000 in the cost of supplies; second, difficulties in securing appropriate sites for camps delayed the shelter construction programme so that approximately $600,000 provided for expenditures in 1954-1955 has had to be postponed until 1955-1956; and, third, it did not prove necessary to utilize the operational reserve of $800,000 for which provision had been made in the 1954-1955 budget.
4. Expenditures for the rehabilitation programme totalled $6,941,075, against an approved budget of $36,203,256. The difference is almost entirely due to the fact that the preliminary work upon two major projects (Yarmuk-Jordan Valley and Sinai), while progressing satisfactorily, had not advanced to a stage requiring the commitment of substantial funds. The amounts provided in the budget for these projects ($13.6 million and $11 million respectively) were consequently greatly in excess of actual expenditures. Engineering and other surveys of both these projects, however, had been completed by the end of the year, and it was expected that the feasibility reports would be presented shortly after the beginning of July 1955. If all other difficulties--mainly of a political nature--can be overcome, and decisions taken to proceed during the fiscal year 1955-1956, it is estimated that perhaps as much as $76,600,000 will have to be spent or committed on these two projects by 30 June 1956.
5. As detailed below, income totalled $25,160,571, of which $87,627 was reserved for the rehabilitation programme. A substantial portion of this income was not received by the Agency until the close of the year. Consequently, although the books at the end of the
year show $25,072,944 as contributed for relief, actual funds in this total amount were not available for expenditure during the year.
6. During the year, $23,830,020 in new pledges were received from Governments, as against the figure of $24,600,000 requested by the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds. The Governments contributed a total of $24,554,930, of which $23,458,634 was against 1954-1955 pledges and the balance--$1,096,296--was against pledges for previous years.
7. Income for the year and the status of pledges at the end of the year may be recapitulated as follows:
As of 30 June 1955
Unpaid pledge of
during 1954-1955 1954-1955 Previous years
(In US dollars)
Governments ....... 24,554,930 371,386 42,157,354
others ............ 153,778
Miscellaneous income 451,863
8. Unpaid pledges are listed as follows:
Period of pledge
Total Year Previous
(In US dollars)
Brazil ................ 25,000 25,000
Federation of Rhodesia
and Nyasaland ....... 19,600 19,600
France ................ 785,714 785,714
Greece ................ 6,000 6,000
India ................. 52,500 52,500
Indonesia ............. 30,000 30,000
Iran .................. 5,138 5,138
Israel ................ 50,000 50,000
Jordan ................ 434,000 168,000 266,000
Korea ................. 2,000 2,000
Lebanon ............... 99,375 99,375
Luxembourg ............ 2,000 2,000
Mexico ................ 11,318 11,318
Monaco ................ 286 286
Netherlands ........... 25,000 25,000
New Zealand ........... 28,000 28,000
Saudi Arabia ......... 75,000 75,000
Switzerland ........... 31,678 31,678
Syria ................. 17,916 17,916
United Kingdom of
Great Britain and
Northern Ireland ..... 9,800,160 9,800,160
United States of
America .............. 30,943,055 30,943,055
Uruguay ............... 5,000 5,000
Yugoslavia ............ 80,000 40,000 40,000
42,528,740 371,386 42,157,354
9. The unpaid pledges from the United States, the United Kingdom and France have been reserved for the rehabilitation programme. The host Governments made no cash pledges for the fiscal year 1954-1955 and paid nothing against pledges made in previous years. In this connexion, the status of pledges made by the Lebanese Government and other claims against
that Government have in principle been settled by negotiation but the necessary legislation has not been passed and the pledges remain in the accounts. The Jordan Government has expressed the wish to discontinue paying to the Agency the annual contribution of $168,000 as provided in the basic agreement between the two parties; negotiations for the revision of the basic agreement are under way but have not so far been concluded. On the other hand, as reflected in the table below, the host Governments provided the Agency with a number of valuable services, such as the transport of supplies, porterage, port facilities and warehouse and office facilities, and also contributed services directly to the refugees the value of which they have assessed at over $2 million:
Contribution of Contributions direct
services to the to refugees at
Government Agency reported values
(In US dollars)
Egypt ................... 277,143 no information
Jordan .................. -- 1,391,015
Lebanon ................. 13,689 35,692
Syria ................... 82,419 780,281
These figures have been supplied by the Governments con-
cerned. Since they are contributed direct to the refugees, they
are not subject to the Agency's financial procedures.
10. Egypt had not, at the time of writing of the present report, communicated to the Agency the value of its contribution direct to the refugees in 1954-1955.
Excess of expenditure over income
11. As mentioned above, the Agency spent a total of $29,222,705 and received only $25,160,571, thereby causing an operating deficit of $4,062,134 for the year.
Since only $87,627 of the income received was specifically designated for rehabilitation purposes, as against rehabilitation expenditures of $6,941,075, it was necessary to withdraw the difference--$6,853,448--from funds on hand (working capital) designated for the
rehabilitation programme. Income received and available for relief purposes exceeded relief expenditures by $2,791,314.
Assets and liabilities
12. As a consequence of the operating deficit for the year, and adjustment for previous years, the net assets (working capital) decreased by approximately $4,200,000 as set forth below:
(In millions of US dollars)
Total assets ................. 38.3 41.6 3.3
Less liabilities and reserves. 2.9 2.0 (0.9)
35.4 39.6 4.2
13. As reflected in the analysis of working capital shown below, approximately $10 million is represented by investment in inventories and other assets which are not available to meet operating needs in 1955-1956; in addition there were outstanding contingent liabilities for relief operations of approximately $5 million. (Similar sums will continue to be needed for these same purposes during 1955-1956, in order to maintain the pipeline of supplies). Hence, on 30 June 1955, there was in effect only $1,600,000 in working capital available for the relief programme. This was far less than the amount required for efficient operations. Moreover, since most of the rehabilitation expenditures for the year were financed from contributions received in previous years, the working capital for rehabilitation purposes was reduced to $18,600,000 after taking into account funds required for inventories and contingent liabilities.
NALYSIS OF WORKING CAPITAL
Designated for available for
the rehabilitation the relief
Total programme programme
(In thousands of US dollars)
Working capital ........ 35,373 19,107 16,266
Deduct assets not avail-
able for operational
Inventories ......... 6,073 173 5,900
Accounts receivable 861 61 800
Cash collateral for
letter of credit
in favour of the
Children's Fund . 3,000 3,000
OTAL ASSETS DEDUCTED
9,934 234 9,700
available ............. 25,439 18,873 6,566
Deduct contingent lia-
bilities on unfilled
purchase orders and
contracts ............. 5,269 263 5,006
Working capital avail-
able for operational
purposes .............. 20,170 18,610 1,560
ENERAL FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS
14. In resolution 818 (IX) the General Assembly requested the Agency to prepare a tentative budget in advance of each fiscal year for transmission to the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds as a basis for seeking contributions in advance of the start of the fiscal year. Accordingly, the necessary steps were taken and in April 1955 the Negotiating Committee was requested to invite Governments to contribute $14 million in cash on or before 30 June 1955 for the 1955-1956 relief programme. No contributions were, however, received by that date, and recourse must once again be had to the expedient of temporarily utilizing rehabilitation funds in order to ensure that there is no breakdown in the flow of food and supplies to the refugees. It is impossible to foretell exactly when contributions will become available or to estimate in advance the extent to which suchtemporary utilization of rehabilitation funds will be employed.
15. As pointed out in previous reports, not only is this unsatisfactory, but it will no longer be possible when all the rehabilitation funds are required for their specified purposes, which may be soon, if the Yarmuk-Jordan Valley or Sinai projects get under way.
16. The necessity for a reasonable amount of working capital, whether for relief or for rehabilitation, cannot be over-emphasized: with a working capital available for operational purposes reduced to $20 million, the point has been reached where any further reduction may seriously affect essential supply operations and may hinder the placing of contracts for rehabilitation projects. An indication of the importance of adequate reserves is the amount which may be required to finance the relief operation if no contributions are received before the beginning of the calendar year 1956, an amount which is estimated at $14 million. This would draw down the free working capital to a figure which would preclude even a comparatively minor development project. It is urgently recommended that the total working capital should be raised by $14 million and maintained at a figure of approximately $50 million in order to preserve the flexibility which has permitted the Agency, by selecting its markets and the time for buying, to achieve the satisfactory financial results recorded above.
17. The procedures approved by the General Assembly last year in an attempt to solve the Agency's financial difficulties (see paragraph 14 above) have proved impracticable, since Governments did not find it possible to make the necessary contributions (amounting to $14 million) to the relief programme in advance of the commencement of the fiscal year on 1 July. The procedures have also added to the burden of the Agency's staff, who were obliged to prepare an advance budget at the beginning of the calendar year 1955 as well as the usual detailed budget two or three months later. It would be wise to admit that the experiment has failed and to search for another solution.
18. The difficulties will largely be overcome if the General Assembly adopts the recommendation in paragraph 16 above and authorizes a working capital fund of $50 million which may be used as required either for rehabilitation or relief. Furthermore, the Agency proposes, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to change its fiscal year to a calendar year basis. These two measures, taken together, would ensure that essential operations are not held up by shortage of funds. The change of the fiscal year would enable the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to commence its search for contributions as soon as the General Assembly has approved the budget, a little in advance of the period to which it relates instead of some six months after the commencement of the fiscal year. If the change in the fiscal year is agreed, it is proposed to prepare a supplementary budget covering the period 1 July to 31 December 1956, and to submit it to the Advisory Commission of the Agency. It is hoped that the General Assembly would delegate authority tot hat Commission to approve the supplementary budget, and would authorize the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to seek additional contributions from Governments. Accounts for the period 1 July 1956 to 31 December 1956 would be submitted to the General Assembly at its twelfth session, and for the calendar year 1957 to the thirteenth session.
ROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE YEAR
19. A detailed budget for 1955-1956 and the pledges and contributions required to finance it was prepared in consultation with the UNRWA Advisory Commission, and is summarized here.
20. It is proposed to spend $26,800,000 on relief in 1955-1956; however, $2,200,000 is for construction and equipment, of which $600,000 represents items in the 1954-1955 budget on which no expenditures were made in the year but which are still required. Hence the budget for the 1955-1956 relief programme may be summarized in comparison with actual expenses for 1954-1955 as follows:
(In thousands of US dollars)
Operations ............ 24,566 20,992
(budget) ............. 1,646 1.854
Carryover of 1954-1955
requirements ......... 564 ( 564)
and equipment ..... 2,210 1,290
OTAL FOR YEAR
The increase of $3,600,000 in operating costs over 1954-1955 is generally due to the following: $1,300,000 representing items on which there were no expenditures in 1954-1955, viz., $500,000 for cloth not heretofore provided and $800,000 for operational reserves to cover unforeseen contingencies. $1,679,000 to provide for the increase in the number of beneficiaries receiving basic rations, milk and supplementary feeding, as well as the increase in the nutritional value of the supplementary feeding menu. $435,000 to improve and enlarge the health care and social welfare services, with particular reference to the treatment of tuberculosis and mental patients in the case of the former. $148,000 reserved for proposed improvements in registration systems. In addition there were increases reflected in other functions totalling $474,000 mainly with respect to the transporting, handling and warehousing of supplies; however, these increases were generally offset by saving of about $462,000 in maintenance of camps resulting from replacing tents with huts during the past two years.
21. A comparison of construction and equipment requirements is in this case not very meaningful. The $1,600,000 for construction and equipment referred to as "new" is primarily the building of huts to replace existing tents to the extent possible and to a lesser
extent the building of structures to replace rented premises where it is more economical. The $600,000 for construction and equipment referred to as "carried over" is to cover those items--mainly hut construction--which were included in the 1954-1955 budget but will not be completed or received until 1955-1956.
22. It is proposed to spend or commit $92,600,000 for rehabilitation purposes in 1955-1956. However, as in the case of the relief programme, $26,800,000 pertains to construction and equipment or projects designated in the 1954-1955 budget which will not be received or completed until 1955-1956. The following is a summary of the 1955-1956 budget for the rehabilitation programme in comparison with the actual expenses in 1954-1955.
(In thousands of US dollars)
Operations ............ 7,580 4,863
(budget) ............ 3,238 1,143
Carryover of 1954-1955
requirements ........ 658 ( 658)
and equipment .... 3,896 485
Carried forward 11,476 5,348
Brough forward 11,476 5,348
Provision for new pro-
jects or expansion of
existing projects ... 54,969 27,705
Carryover of 1954-1955
provision ......... 26,112 (26,112)
Total for projects 81,081 1,593
OTAL FOR YEAR
23. The operating costs consist of general and vocational education, placement services, rehabilitation administration, share of common services, and special activities. The reflected increase of $2,700,000 over 1954-1955 consists of $2 million increase in general and vocational education, $400,000 increase in placement services, and the balance of $300,000 in administration, share of common services and special activities.
24. The increase in education is to permit an increase in enrolment, to expand the curricula (including expansion of training in handicrafts), and to improve the teaching standards.
25. Capital requirements (construction and equipment) and project costs do not bear comparison; however, of the $3,200,000 for new capital requirements, $2,400,000 pertain to general and vocational education, mainly the construction of classrooms; and $800,000 for the construction of special camp facilities to be located near centres of employment opportunity or anticipated large-scale projects. The $700,000 for construction and equipment carried forward represents mainly classrooms budgeted in 1954-1955 but not completed.
26. The $55 million for new projects or the expansion of old ones, together with the $26,100,000 of unspent funds reserved for existing projects, consist of the following major groups totalling $81,100,000:
(In millions of
Yarmuk-Jordan Valley ................... 50.0
Sinai .................................. 26.6
Agricultural schemes ................... 1.3
Direct assistance ...................... 0.9
Urban housing schemes .................. 0.8
Industrial loans ....................... 0.6
Research and surveys ................... 0.4
Miscellaneous .......................... 0.5
27. It is not expected that much of the total amount budgeted for projects will be spent, particularly on the Yarmuk-Jordan Valley project and the Sinai project, but it is quite possible that very large sums will be committed by the awarding of construction contracts during the latter part of the fiscal year.
4. FINANCING THE 1955-1956
28. In determining the financial requirements of the Agency, besides taking into account the budget for the rehabilitation and relief programmes, it is also necessary to consider any necessary increase or decrease in the non-cash assets, the amount of miscellaneous income and the amount of working capital needed.
29. For 1955-1956, no significant change in noncash assets is contemplated and it is assumed that miscellaneous income will amount to $500,000. Working capital, however, should be increased by approximately $14 million, in order to finance the relief programme during the first six or eight months of a fiscal year when only small contributions are usually received.
30. As mentioned in section 2 (starting with paragraph 14) of the present annex, the method introduced in 1954-1955 to finance the early part of 1955-1956 operations has not proved practical and an increase in the working capital is therefore proposed as a more
31. As set forth in paragraphs 12 and 13, during 1954-1955 the working capital decreased by $4,200,000, resulting in a balance of $35,400,000 at 30 June 1955, of which only $16,300,000 was available for the relief programme. However, this sum was barely sufficient to finance the $10 million invested in non-cash assets obtained mainly for relief purposes (inventories, etc.) and over $5 million required to meet contingent liabilities for the relief programme in the form of unfilled purchase orders in the hands of suppliers, or other contracts awarded to outside parties.
32. The table below, therefore, reflects financial requirements of $133,300,000 of which $119,300,000 is to fund the budget for the relief and rehabilitation programmes and $14 million to increase working capital. Since $500,000 is expected in the form of miscellaneous income, $132,800,000 in contributions is required. Pledges totalling $42,500,000 were outstanding at 30 June 1955 (most of which have been designated for the rehabilitation programme) and hence $90,300,000 in new pledges is required.
(In millions of
Total programme budget ........................... 119.3
Increase in working capital ...................... 14.0
OTAL FUNDS REQUIRE
Source of funds:
New pledges required ............................ 90.3
Outstanding pledges ............................. 42.5
Miscellaneous income ............................ 0.5
OTAL FROM ALL SOURCES
LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE WORK OF THE A
1. LEGAL STATUS OF THE AGENCY
1. The divergencies in views mentioned in the last report between some of the host countries and the Agency relating to its legal status have continued during the year under consideration. As a result, the work and programme of the Agency, and its efforts to assist the refugees, have been hampered. Some Governments feel that, by reason of the Agency's operational activities, its status should be assimilated in some respects to that of a commercial organization and that, therefore, it should be subject to the control of governmental organs. The replies of the Agency to the effect that it is a public international organization and a subsidiary organ of the United Nations and that, as such, its activities should be governed by international law and, in particular, by the legal rules governing international organizations have, however, met with a measure of greater understanding on the part of Governments during the year under review. But even where this has been the case, the practical implementation of this recognition of the Agency's legal position has sometimes been impeded because the various governmental authorities and instrumentalities in their daily contacts with the Agency have not been fully appraised of such position. Thus, in some instances, import permits for supplies have been required by customs officials, although the Government concerned has granted the Agency a general exemption from such a requirement in accordance with its international undertakings. This has caused regrettable delays in the movement of supplies destined for consumption by the refugees, and has hindered the relief programme.
2. Furthermore, some Governments continue to attempt to make the Agency and its staff, in respect of their official acts, amenable to the jurisdiction of local courts. In particular, difficulties have arisen with regard to the status of the Agency's locally recruited staff. In order to ensure for the organization itself that degree of protection for its legal interests which the General Assembly has provided by its resolutions, the Agency has strenuously sought to obtain from Governments the full recognition of the necessary jurisdictional and other immunities to which its staff is entitled in order to ensure the proper fulfilment of their official duties and to preserve the independent character of the organization.
3. Some Governments, again, attempt to levy upon the Agency various types of taxes, for example, stamp duties on numerous documents required for the Agency's operational activities. Although it is clear that under international law, and by virtue of international texts binding upon the Governments, the Agency is entitled to exemption from these charges in so far as they constitute direct taxes, it has nevertheless encountered considerable difficulties in securing such exemption. Representations on this matter continue to be made to the authorities concerned.
4. The restrictive measures mentioned in the last report which are imposed by some Governments with respect to the use of rail transport instead of the cheaper road transport continue. In this connexion, efforts have been made to secure the implementation of intergovernmental agreements between Jordan, Lebanon and Syria which provide that rail transport rates should be reduced for the Agency in order to be comparable to the cheaper road transport rates. The Agency is continuing to take up the matter of reimbursement of the difference between the rates with the appropriate authorities.
5. The position referred to in the last report,
concerning the Agency's freedom to procure its supplies from wherever it is most advantageous financially, has improved. Some Governments have, however, imposed embargoes from time to time upon both importation and exportation of supplies, especially foodstuffs for the refugees.
2. GENERAL LEGAL ACTIVITIES AND PROBLEMS
6. The broad scope of the Agency's activities continues to give rise to an impressive amount of legal work ranging from governmental negotiations to the drawing up of contracts and the settlement of claims.
7. General conditions of contract and of tenders for commercial and public works contracts have been drawn up. It is inevitable, however, that claims, counter-claims and disputes should arise from some of the thousands of contracts which are concluded annually for the procurement of supplies and services. Normally attempts are made, many of which have been successful, to resolve such differences by negotiation. But, to anticipate the cases in which negotiation is unsuccessful, an arbitration clause is included in most of the Agency's commercial contracts, and the present clause provides that, in the event that the parties to a dispute are unable to choose an arbitrator who is mutually acceptable to them, one will be appointed by the President of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.
8. In some cases, the Agency has had to institute court proceedings against suppliers who have failed to carry out their obligations. There are also several cases pending in the various host countries for recovery of overdue instalments on loans.
9. Problems affecting the Agency's employment policy continue to arise, some of the host countries tending toward the view that the employment relationship between the Agency and its employees is subject to their national labour laws. The Agency, on the other hand, considers that relationship is governed by the Agency's internal law and staff regulations (forming part of what is sometimes called international administrative law), thus following well-recognized principles of international law. The Agency has refused to submit to the jurisdiction of local courts, pointing out that, following the practice of other United Nations bodies, internal
appeals boards are available to the staff, and that permanent administrative machinery is being set up to handle such disputes. Some of the Governments concerned have formally recognized the Agency's immunity in this respect.
10. The Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations has still to decide whether it is competent to hear claims by staff members of the Agency, in the light of the first such claim having been made by a member of the Agency's area staff.
11. New staff regulations have been drafted, as well as statutes for a staff association and for a staff provident fund.
12. In view of attempts to serve summonses directed either against the Agency or against members of its staff relating to their official acts on the Agency's premises, the Agency has requested that they should be forwarded through the Ministries for Foreign Affairs in order that the inviolability of its offices and premises be respected. These requests have been met in some instances.
13. As regards programme and project agreements with the host countries the duration of which is likely to be longer than the life of the Agency, the Agency has adopted the policy of providing that its successor in right shall be the United Nations or its designate.
14. Close contact has been maintained with the Office of the Legal Counsel at United Nations Headquarters, which has given valuable advice on many questions of general interest.
EGAL WORK IN THE VARIOUS HOST COUNTRIES
15. The Government of Egypt recognizes the status of the Agency as an international organization, and relations are governed, in particular, by the terms of its agreement with the Agency and, in general, by the provisions of the Convention on the Privileges and
Immunities of the United Nations . The complex legal problems likely to arise in connexion with the Sinai development project are being studied.
16. The negotiations regarding the revision of the present agreement governing the relationship between the Agency and the Jordan Government have continued intermittently throughout the year under review. Differences between the Government and the Agency over the extent of control which the former wishes to exercise over the latter's operations and over
the selection, appointment and promotion of Agency personnel continued to be largely responsible for slow progress.
17. Some of the difficulties which the Agency had previously encountered in Jordan have been alleviated during the course of the past year. But two main types of problem which caused difficulty for the Agency were first, governmental measures which restricted the Agency's right to import freely the supplies needed for its programme and, second, the failure of the Government to recognize the Agency's right to and need for immunity from jurisdiction in local courts.
18. An example of the former was provided by the refusal of the Jordan customs authorities either to permit the importation of a consignment of flour without an import licence (in spite of the fact that the Agency is entitled to a general exemption from the necessity of procuring such a licence by the terms of its agreement with the Government) or to allow
the off-loading of the flour from railway wagons into a warehouse so as to avoid demurrage charges pending the settlement of the licence question. The Agency declined to pay a sizeable sum for demurrage charges requested by the Railways Administration, a governmental instrumentality; and the matter is still pending.
19. As regards immunity from jurisdiction, no action has yet been taken by the Government to grant reparation to the Agency for the attachment of the Agency's assets in a Jordanian bank in satisfaction of a court judgment in a case where, under international law, the court had no jurisdiction. This matter was described in the previous annual report
and is still being pursued by the Agency. In more recent cases involving either the Agency or its staff in respect of their official acts, the Agency has informed the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that it is always prepared to negotiate a reasonable settlement or to agree to arbitration and, consequently, it is inappropriate to waive its jurisdictional immunity or that of its staff. In each case the Agency has accordingly requested that the court concerned be advised of the position. It would be greatly beneficial if all courts in Jordan were informed of the Government's obligations to respect the status of the Agency as an organ of the United Nations and, in particular, to observe its immunity from suit under international law and custom.
20. In April 1954, the Agency agreed to refer to arbitration, to take place in Lebanon, a claim arising out of a loan agreement concluded with the Iraq Clothing Company for the purpose of establishing a clothing factory in Iraq to provide employment for Palestine refugees. The three arbitrators gave a unanimous award on 20 December 1954 against the Company and/or the individual directors and in favour of the Agency.
21. An important development in the Agency's relations with the Government of Lebanon during the year was the conclusion of the over-all agreement referred to in the last report as under negotiation. This agreement was concluded on 26 November 1954, in the form of an exchange of notes signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Lebanese Republic and the Director of the Agency, together with an
setting out a specific arrangement for
its implementation. The following are the main points covered:
(i) Lebanon's future contributions to the relief and works programme for Palestine refugees, amounting to 0.06 per cent of the Agency's annual budget, will be in the form of services rendered to certain categories of refugees living in the country.
(ii) The Agency will consider that Lebanon's contributions for the period from 1951 to 30 June 1954 have been made by the Government by means of direct or indirect expenses incurred in the giving of assistance to Palestine refugees living in Lebanon.
(iii) The Government confirmed the exemption of the Agency from taxes on certain supplies and from landing charges in respect of its air plane, levied hitherto contrary to the Convention on Privileges and Immunities and international practice. The Government also agreed to reimburse all such taxes and charges paid.
(iv) The Government further agreed to reimburse port charges previously paid by the Agency, as well as the difference between rail and road transport costs, in accordance with the agreement of September 1950 between Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
(v) The Agency assumed responsibility for an agreed amount of expenses incurred by the Lebanese Central Palestine Refugee Committee on receipt of the relevant vouchers.
(vi) The Government declared its readiness to interpret the Convention on Privileges and Immunities in accordance with international practice with particular reference to customs exemptions for Agency staff.
22. Although the Government has taken some steps to put parts of the agreement into effect, none of the provisions has so far been implemented.
23. Negotiations looking towards the revision of the agreement governing relations between the Agency and the Syrian Government were continued during the year. Although there has been little progress in these negotiations, difficulties in specific cases, including those with the Syrian customs, have been resolved in a satisfactory manner. The Agency's legal status is still frequently ignored or misunderstood by the Syrian authorities, thus creating many practical difficulties, but the Syrian courts have in several cases formally recognized the Agency's immunity from judicial process.
24. The following matters may be particularly noted, however:
(i) Entry to Syria has been arbitrarily refused to certain officials of the Agency, and others have been ordered to leave virtually without notice. In these cases, the Syrian Government has failed to follow the customary practice of States in their relations with international organizations, and the Agency has been obliged to lodge formal protests.
(ii) The previous two annual reports
have mentioned that Agency funds had been attached by court order as a result of judgments against the Agency (in spite of its jurisdictional immunity) in respect of claims for terminal indemnities. An informal arrangement was made to settle this question. The Government ordered the unblocking of the funds and agreed to produce written evidence to the fact that the judgments had been formally quashed. This has so far not been received.
(iii) The continued suspension of the Agency's Placement Service has been noted in annex D to the present report.
(iv) The Syrian Government has continued to attempt to levy income tax by deduction at source on the salaries of Syrian and even non-Syrian employees of the Agency. In one specific case, these demands were accompanied by threats of attachment of Agency funds. The Agency has resisted these demands, which are contrary to international practice and would create an unnecessary administrative burden upon the Agency; the levying of income tax on non-Syrian employees of the Agency would in any event be contrary to the Government's international obligations.
(v) The Agency has been obliged in a number of instances to call the Government's attention to the fact that Agency staff, in exercising their official duties, are subject only to the appropriate internal regulations and administrative procedures, and should not be considered as liable in this respect to the Syrian criminal code.
CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS
1. Full co-operation between the Agency and other members of the United Nations family has continued during the year under review. The Agency acknowledges once more its appreciation of the advice, assistance and co-operation it has received from them, as well as from departments and offices at Headquarters.
2. All United Nations bodies and specialized agencies represented in Beirut have their offices in the same compound and are provided either free or at cost with various administrative services by the Agency.
3. During the year, the Agency was represented at meetings of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination, the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions and the Consultative Committee on Public Information.
2. UNITED NATIONS BODIES
United Nations Children's Fund
4. The United Nations Children's Fund has continued its interest in the welfare of Arab refugees from Palestine, but during the past year it contributed no goods direct to the Agency's programme.
5. Persons in need who are not within the Agency's mandate were assisted by UNICEF. They include 31,000 children and 2,000 mothers living in the Gaza strip, as well as about 50,000 inhabitants of the frontier villages in Jordan. All these persons, though they are not refugees under the accepted definition, have had their livelihood affected by the Palestine conflict. The Agency's services are given to UNICEF for the distribution of these supplies.
United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine
6. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 818 (IX), the Agency has continued its consultation with the Conciliation Commission for Palestine in the best interests of their respective tasks. This consultation has been concerned with compensation, unblocking refugees' bank accounts in Israel and the transfer to refugees of valuables held on safe deposit by banks in Israel. It is described in paragraph 62 of the present report.
United Nations information centres
7. The present year has seen the beginning of a more effective utilization of the information centres as points of contact between the Agency and the public in places outside the Agency's immediate sphere of operations. This takes the form not only of Press relations (placement of news and features) but also of contact with interested personalities; the centres will increasingly become the points at which information about all aspects of the Agency's work is available.
United Nations Technical Assistance Board
8. By arrangement with the Technical Assistance Board, the Agency's Liaison Officer in Iraq has since 1 December 1954 also acted as the Board's Resident Representative there pending the appointment of a regular Board official.
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
9. Consultation and exchange of information on matters of common concern has continued as during the previous year.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
10. The five senior members of the Agency's education staff are seconded from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which maintained throughout the year its close and fruitful relations with the Agency. UNESCO continued to demonstrate a keen and practical interest in all aspects of the major educational venture constituted by the UNRWA/UNESCO school system, and technical help of every kind was proffered whenever required.
11. During the fiscal period 1954-1955 contributions continued to be received under the UNESCO gift coupons scheme.
Food and Agriculture Organization
12. Here again, technical advice is given as requested. There has also been consultation between the Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization regarding refugee nutrition.
International Labour Organisation
13. The International Labour Organisation continues to help the Agency particularly regarding the recruitment of staff for its vocational training programme.
World Health Organization
14. The basic working agreement concluded between the Agency and the World Health Organization in September 1950 has been extended until 30 June 1960. The provision of technical advice and the secondment of four senior members of the Agency's health staff has continued.
A. Final report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East (28 December 1949), document A/AC.25/6, parts I and II.
B. Report of the Secretary-General on Assistance to Palestine Refugees: see
Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session, Ad Hoc Political Committee, Annexes,
vol. II, p. 14, doc. A/1060.
C. Reports of the Director of UNRWA and special reports of the Director and Advisory Commission to the General Assembly:
Ibid., Fifth Session, Supplement No. 19;
Ibid., Sixth Session, Supplements Nos. 16 and 16A;
Ibid., Seventh Session, Supplements Nos. 13 and 13A;
Ibid., Eighth Session, Supplements Nos. 12 and 12A;
Ibid., Ninth Session, Supplements Nos. 17 and 17A.
D. Pertinent General Assembly resolutions:
194 (III) of 11 December 1948;
212 (III) of 19 November 1948;
302 (IV) of 8 December 1949;
393 (V) of 2 December 1950;
513 (VI) of 26 January 1952;
614 (VII) of 6 November 1952;
720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953;
818 (IX) of 4 December 1954.
See [i:Official Records of the General Assembly, Ninth Session. Supplement No. 17A,] para.
A/2717, para. 11.
A/2717/Add.1, para. 21.
A/2717, para. 16.
A/2717, para. 21.
A/2717, para. 24.
A/2717, para. 26.
Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, para. 11.
Resolution 818 (IX), para. 3.
A/2717, para. 38.
A/2717, para. 47.
Resolution 818 (IX), para. 7.
Resolution 818 (IX), para. 6.
A/2717, para. 57.
A/2717, annex C, paras. 3 and 4.
A/2717, annex C, para. 6.
A/2717, annex C, para. 16.
A/2717, annex C, para. 19.
A/2717, annex C, para. 22.
A/2717, annex C, para. 33.
A/2717, annex C, paras. 34-37.
A/2717, annex C, paras. 39-41.
A/2717, para. 30, and A/2717, annex C, paras. 44-47.
Expenditures reported in tables 1 and 4 for the periods 1 January 1951 to 30 June 1954 and 1 January 1951 to 30 June 1955 respectively under the various categories do not, in some cases, agree with those reported in the financial statements when cumulated for the same periods. This results from (
) adjustments made in the financial statements through the working capital fund but reclassified in these tables to appropriate categories; and (
) reclassification of certain projects and special activities. Totals remain, however, unchanged.
A/2717, annex G, para. 11 (iii).
A/2717, annex G, para. 11 (ii).
A/2717, annex G, para. 11 (i).
A/2470; A/2717, annex G, para. 16.