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Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005 *
Human rights and humanitarian affairs
(Programme 22 of the medium-term plan for the period 2002-2005)**
* The approved programme budget will subsequently be issued in final form as Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 6 (A/58/6/Rev.1).
** Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 6 (A/57/6/Rev.1).
(Programme 22 of the medium-term plan for the period 2002-2005)
26.1 The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established by the General Assembly by its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 as a separate entity within the United Nations system. By its resolution 3331 B (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, the General Assembly decided that the expenses relating to the emoluments of international staff in the service of UNRWA, which would otherwise have been charged to voluntary contributions, should be provided for under the regular budget of the United Nations with effect from 1 January 1975 for the duration of the Agency’s mandate. The mandate of UNRWA has been renewed repeatedly, most recently by the General Assembly in its resolution 56/52 of 10 December 2001, when it was extended until 30 June 2005.
26.2 UNRWA reports directly to the General Assembly to which the Commissioner-General submits an annual report on the operations of the Agency. A general review of UNRWA programmes and activities is undertaken on an annual basis by the ten-member Advisory Commission, which includes representatives of the Agency’s major donors and host authorities. The Advisory Commission has a working relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
26.3 The overall objective of UNRWA for the biennium 2004-2005 is to improve the infrastructure and socio-economic conditions of the Palestine refugees by continuing to provide assistance, as it has for more than 50 years, until there is a just and durable solution to the problem. That assistance involves the provision of general education, health, relief and social services to eligible Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Non-refugees are provided services when the Agency determines them to be in special need and as mandated by the General Assembly. The Agency also provides emergency assistance to Palestine refugees in situations of acute distress. During the biennium 2002-2003, the Agency continued to provide emergency assistance to some 1.3 million refugees affected by the strife in the occupied Palestinian territory, over and above its regular services to the refugees. The ability of the Agency to provide its regular services to a population of registered refugees that grows at approximately 3.5 per cent per annum is entirely dependent on sufficient voluntary funding being made available to it annually. The Agency is also dependent on additional funding being made available to it to carry out its emergency operations.
26.4 The Agency seeks to ensure the well-being of the refugee community and to promote self-reliance through investment in human resources and support of employment and income-generation activities. Where feasible and desirable, UNRWA will continue to incorporate cost-sharing and self-support measures into its regular programmes to ensure the efficient use of resources and to support participation by the beneficiary population in the provision of Agency services.
26.5 Since becoming operational in 1950, the Agency has demonstrated a capacity to adapt and enhance its programmes, as required, to meet the evolving needs of the refugees and to cope with developments in the region. It stands ready to continue to do so in accordance with the mandate it receives from the General Assembly.
26.6 Education is the Agency’s largest programme area, measured both in terms of its relative share of the Agency’s budget and the proportion of Agency staff it employs. The programme provides general education, teacher education and technical vocational education and training for Palestine refugee children and youth, in accordance with their needs, identity and cultural heritage. It does so within the framework of the prescribed curricula of the host Governments and the Palestinian Authority and in conformity with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) standards. The Agency will continue its efforts to improve the quality of teaching, training and staff development, and will continue to rely on UNESCO for technical expertise and support.
26.7 Education programme services are delivered through four subprogrammes. The General education subprogramme, currently employing 15,735 teaching staff, provides general education (elementary and preparatory education in all its areas of operation and secondary education in Lebanon) for 500,973 eligible refugee children in 644 UNRWA schools. The school population is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent to some 518,321 by the end of the biennium 2004-2005 (i.e. 2005/2006 school year), as a result of natural growth among the Palestine refugee communities. The Technical and vocational education and training subprogramme currently provides 4,884 vocational and technical/semi-professional training places in eight training centres (two in Jordan, three in the West Bank and one each in Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Gaza Strip). The Teacher education subprogramme is designed to meet the requirement of the Government of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority that teachers in the basic education cycle possess four-year first-level university degrees. The pre-service teacher training in this subprogramme leads to a four-year university degree. Through its fourth subprogramme, Placement and career guidance, the Agency helps Palestine refugees who graduate from its training centres and other institutions to secure suitable jobs, whether locally or in neighbouring countries. Counselling and career guidance are also provided for Palestine refugee students to help them in selecting an appropriate vocation.
26.8 The Agency’s second largest programme area is health. The foundation of UNRWA health care is its network of 122 primary health-care facilities. Programme activities are focused on comprehensive primary health care, comprising essential medical care services, child health care, expanded maternal health and family planning and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, supported by assistance towards secondary care, environmental health services in camps and food aid to vulnerable groups. UNRWA is committed to the achievement of World Health Organization strategies and targets for the eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases, including poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus and measles. Ongoing programmes to rehabilitate and upgrade health infrastructure at the primary level and to improve environmental health conditions in refugee camps will continue to receive high priority. Sewage disposal, management of storm-water run-off, provision of safe drinking water, collection and disposal of refuse and control of rodents and insects are currently being provided to some 1.3 million registered refugees living in camps. Cost-efficiency measures, such as containment of hospitalization costs, which were implemented to make optimal use of the limited financial and human resources, will be maintained.
26.9 The Agency also provides a range of relief and social services. These services will continue to be provided to eligible refugees, whether they live in camps, towns, villages or remote areas, and include food support, shelter rehabilitation and selective cash assistance, which are delivered to special hardship cases, that is, refugee families that are unable to meet their basic needs. As at the end of December 2002, a total of 212,228 persons (57,531 families) were benefiting from the cyclical assistance under the special hardship programme. The number of special hardship cases is expected to grow by an average 3.5 per cent per annum during the biennium 2004-2005. The relief and social services programme also provides income-generation and community development services that promote self-reliance among less advantaged members of the refugee community, in particular women, youth and the physically and mentally challenged. Eligibility for services is determined by the Registration subprogramme. In emergency situations, assistance will be extended to affected communities (refugees and non-refugees) as a temporary measure and as donor support allows.
26.10 The Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programme supports the development of the microenterprise and small-scale business sector within the refugee community by providing working capital and capital investment products. In 2002, the programme initiated expansion into Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. The programme provides its credit products on a commercial, self-sustaining and market-oriented microfinance basis. These products strengthen business activity, create jobs, generate income for participants, help to alleviate poverty and encourage women’s economic participation. Small and microenterprise training is provided in the Gaza Strip, contributing to employment generation and the economic development of the area. The mainstreaming of women in credit is a significant element of the development mission of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programme. In addition to helping women to become economically self-reliant, loans to women help informal enterprise owners to develop formal enterprises and create a culture where women’s economic activity is socially valued. UNRWA promotes credit for women through its solidarity group lending programme, which provides credit solely to women-owned microenterprises.
26.11 Project funding has accounted for a considerable share of the Agency’s income and expenditure in recent years. Projects form an integral part of programme activities and are the means by which virtually all of the Agency’s capital costs (school construction, upgrading of health centres, etc.), as well as key service-related non-recurrent costs (environmental health improvements, shelter rehabilitation etc.), are funded. The projects budget amounts to $108.8 million for the biennium 2002-2003, representing over 13 per cent of the total UNRWA budget.
26.12 Following the outbreak of strife in the occupied Palestinian territory in September 2000, UNRWA launched a number of emergency appeals. In 2000-2001, $160,268,300 was requested from donors. Pledges of $133,192,700 were made, of which $126,076,700 has been received. In 2002, a further $172,826,300 was sought from donors, in view of the ongoing state of emergency. Pledges of $91,327,700 were confirmed in respect of the 2002 appeals, of which $54,570,100 was received in 2002.
26.13 The current situation in the Middle East has given rise to a number of scenarios for the future work of UNRWA. Should the strife in the occupied Palestinian territory continue or intensify, the deteriorating economic conditions of the refugees, restrictions on the flow of goods, services and staff members and the heavy demands of emergency operations on staff will affect service provision to the refugees. Should the peace talks resume and lead to a settlement, the Agency may be asked to assume new tasks.
26.14 As a result of the increase in the refugee population, UNRWA is currently facing an increased workload and a demand for personnel with specialized skills. In addition to its current responsibilities, it is envisioned that new demands will have to be met, particularly in the provision of political analysis and legal advice, relief and social services, logistics, administration and human resources and security.
26.15 The programme’s main expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement for the biennium 2004-2005 are detailed, together with required resources, under the programme of work. The overall framework of these expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement is shown in table 26.1.
Table 26.1 Framework of expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement by component
26.16 The regular budget resources for the biennium 2004-2005 under this section amount to $29,142,900, reflecting an increase of $864,200 (or 3 per cent at 2002-2003 rates). The resource growth is due to the delayed impact of seven new international posts approved by the General Assembly for the biennium 2002-2003.
26.17 UNRWA projects that an amount of $796,009,300 will be available from extrabudgetary resources for the biennium 2004-2005. This amount represents 96.1 per cent of the total resources available to the programme. The projected estimate of $796,009,300 represents an increase of $29,099,500 over the revised estimates of the extrabudgetary resources expected to be available for the biennium 2002-2003. The existing arrangements for an intergovernmental review of the management of these extrabudgetary funds provide for the Advisory Commission to review the Agency’s programmes and activities.
Table 26.2 Resource requirements
(Thousands of United States dollars)
(1) Regular budget
Table 26.3 Post requirements
Programme of work
26.18 The programme of work has been formulated by drawing upon programme 22 (Palestine refugees) of the medium-term plan for the period 2002-2005.
Table 26.4 Objectives for the biennium, expected accomplishments, indicators of achievement and performance measures
Performance measures :
2000-2001: 96 per cent pass rate
Estimate 2002-2003: 96 per cent pass rate
Target 2004-2005: 96 per cent pass rate
(ii) Maintenance of relatively high pupil pass rate in the preparatory cycle
2000-2001: 98 per cent pass rate
Estimate 2002-2003: 98 per cent pass rate
Target 2004-2005: 98 per cent pass rate
(iii) Maintenance of relatively low dropout rate in the elementary cycle
2000-2001: 0.6 per cent dropout rate
Estimate 2002-2003: 0.5 per cent dropout rate
Target 2004-2005: 0.5 per cent dropout rate
(iv) Reduction in the dropout rate in the preparatory cycle
2000-2001: 3.2 per cent dropout rate
Estimate 2002-2003: 3.0 per cent dropout rate
Target 2004-2005: 2.8 per cent dropout rate
(v) Number of additional educational facilities or other infrastructural facilities constructed or renovated
2000-2001: 152 additional facilities
Estimate 2002-2003: 274 additional facilities
Target 2004-2005: 384 additional facilities
(vi) Number of education staff from various categories (teaching and non-teaching) trained
2000-2001: 1,986 staff
Estimate 2002-2003: 1,800 staff
Target 2004-2005: 1,800 staff
(vii) Pupil-teacher ratio in the elementary cycle
2000-2001: 37:1 pupil-teacher ratio
Estimate 2002-2003: 36:1 pupil-teacher ratio
Target 2004-2005: 36:1 pupil-teacher ratio
(viii) Pupil-teacher ratio in the preparatory cycle
2000-2001: 27:1 pupil-teacher ratio
Estimate 2002-2003: 27:1 pupil-teacher ratio
Target 2004-2005: 27:1 pupil-teacher ratio
(ix) Number of schools operating on a double-shift basis
2000-2001: 488 schools
Estimate 2002-2003: 480 schools
Target 2004-2005: 470 schools
2000-2001: 100 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 100 per cent
Target 2004-2005: 100 per cent
improved relative to the total number of
2000-2001: 100 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 100 per cent
26.19 Significant external factors that may affect the achievement of the expected accomplishments are:
(a) Frequency of changes in the curriculum mandated by the host authorities;
(b) Changes in the host authority requirements for teaching qualifications, as well as a larger pool of trained teachers in some fields, resulting in a lower demand for pre-service teacher training places;
(c) A worsening economic and political situation and increased unemployment, leading to an increased dropout and failure rate and psychological stress among students;
(d) Rate of growth among the refugee population requiring the Agency to build new schools and recruit additional teaching and other education staff;
(e) Availability of extrabudgetary resources.
26.20 During the biennium 2004-2005, the following outputs will be delivered:
(a) Provision of general education (elementary and preparatory education in all its areas of operation and secondary education in Lebanon);
(b) Provision of technical and vocational training;
(c) Curricula for the Agency’s General and Technical Education programmes harmonized with those offered by the respective host Governments;
(d) Vocational training programme syllabuses will reflect changing market demands;
(e) Upgraded educational facilities;
(f) Provision of pre-service teacher training;
(g) Upgrading of teaching and training skills;
(h) Provision of counselling and career guidance.
Table 26.5 Objectives for the biennium, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement
2000-2001: to be determined
Estimate 2002-2003: 15 per cent registered
Target 2004-2005: 25 per cent registered
2000-2001: 99 per cent immunization coverage
Estimate 2002-2003: 95 per cent or higher immunization coverage
Target 2004-2005: 95 per cent or higher immunization coverage
(ii) Reduction in late complications rate among patients suffering from non-communicable diseases
Estimate 2002-2003: 7 per cent of patients with late complications
Target 2004-2005: 5 per cent of patients with late complications
2000-2001: 74 per cent of refugee shelters
Estimate 2002-2003: 75 per cent of refugee shelters
Target 2004-2005: 85 per cent of refugee shelters
(ii) Number of official camps connected to municipal water networks
2000-2001: 51 camps
Estimate 2002-2003: 51 camps
Target 2004-2005: 58 camps
2000-2001: 20 agreements
Estimate 2002-2003: 25 agreements
Target 2004-2005: 30 agreements
26.21 Significant external factors that may affect the achievement of the expected accomplishments are:
(a) Restrictions imposed by Governments on the importation and distribution of medicines or food commodities compromising the quality of UNRWA health-care services;
(b) Frequent emergency situations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank placing additional burdens on the health-care system and its limited resources;
(c) Ad hoc directives and regulations promulgated by host authorities regarding costs of medical care and vaccine schedules creating a demand for unplanned additional resources that have to be diverted from other activities;
(d) Inadequate donor contributions compromising the Agency’s ability to implement planned development projects.
26.22 During the biennium 2004-2005, the following outputs will be delivered:
(a) Provision of over 7 million medical consultations per annum and preventive care for approximately 300,000 pregnant women and pre-school children;
(b) Regular immunization for all registered infants under the age of 12 months; two rounds of mass immunization campaigns against poliomyelitis and measles each year; participation in the national programmes of the host authorities for control of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS;
(c) Provision of specialist obstetrics, gynaecology and cardiology care; secondary care through a hospitalization scheme for refugee patients at government and non-governmental organization hospitals;
(d) Implementation within a multisectoral approach of targeted health education and promotion activities which are core elements of the programme. Current initiatives are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among population groups at risk, as well as educating youth on prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and prevention of tobacco use;
(e) Distribution of 10 sets of educational material on safe reproductive health practices and newborn care;
(f) Provision of psychological counselling and support;
(g) Provision of technical guidelines and management protocols that define the standards of care; in-service training and application of the concepts of total quality management, periodic assessments and health services research;
(h) Provision of a user manual and relevant electronic files with respect to the new management-health information system for surveillance and management of maternal risk factors, as well as non-communicable diseases, associated with adverse outcomes;
(i) Five in-service training courses for medical and nursing staff for orientation of staff on the new management health information system;
(j) Provision of information technology equipment for implementation of the new system at 76 health centres in the five field offices;
(k) Completion or start of 10 projects for improvement of sewerage systems in refugee camps in Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Gaza Strip;
(l) Provision of additional vehicles and containers for mechanization of solid waste collection and disposal to camps in the West Bank and Jordan field offices;
(m) Distribution of monthly dry rations of food commodities to pregnant women, nursing mothers and tuberculosis patients receiving care at UNRWA primary health-care facilities;
(n) Holding of negotiations and joint working committee meetings for the development of joint initiatives with host authorities.
Relief and social services
Table 26.6 Objectives for the biennium, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement
2000-2001: 21 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 24 per cent
Target 2004-2005: 25 per cent
(ii) Percentage of cash and food distribution made on time
2000-2001: 93 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 91.7 per cent
Target 2004-2005: 100 per cent
(ii) Percentage of new registration applications recommended by field offices out of number of applications received
2000-2001: 8 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 11 per cent
Target 2004-2005: 11 per cent
2000-2001: 1,700 jobs
Estimate 2002-2003: 2,500 jobs
Target 2004-2005: 3,300 jobs
(ii) Number of women benefiting from group credit schemes administered by community-based organizations
2000-2001: 320 women
Estimate 2002-2003: 500 women
Target 2004-2005: 790 women
(iii) Number of disabled clients who received direct rehabilitation from community rehabilitation centres
2000-2001: 3,000 clients
Estimate 2002-2003: 3,600 clients
Target 2004-2005: 4,200 clients
26.23 Significant external factors that may affect the achievement of the expected accomplishments are:
(a) Inadequate donor contributions compromising the Agency’s ability to implement its planned activities and cope with rising needs as a result of the deteriorating political and socio-economic conditions;
(b) Lack of specific funding, making it impossible to implement urgently needed reforms of the registration programme, namely, to redesign the computerized registration system for the 4 million officially registered refugees and to preserve the information contained in the family files through digital scanning.
26.24 During the biennium 2004-2005, the following outputs will be delivered:
(a) Maintenance of food and storage safety, with special focus on the Agency’s l0 warehouses, 57 food distribution centres and 128 distribution points;
(b) Maintenance of minimum standards of nutrition and shelter rehabilitation;
(c) Improvement and maintenance of updated records of the 4 million refugees in the region, including training of staff;
(d) Provision of credit through group guaranteed lending schemes and income-generation activities;
(e) Provision of rehabilitation services to physically and mentally challenged refugees;
(f) Provision of targeted support for civic, recreational and sports activities for refugee youth, including handicapped children;
(g) Provision of loans to help disadvantaged refugees to meet their basic needs;
(h) Provision of technical assistance to 135 community-based organizations on key issues such as community development concepts, development of annual work plans and services, budgeting and financial management, fund-raising, management and networking skills.
Microfinance and microenterprise programme
Table 26.7 Objectives for the biennium, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement
Estimate 2002-2003: $12,361,937
Target 2004-2005: $37,441,000
2000-2001: 20,753 loans
Estimate 2002-2003: 19,535 loans
Target 2004-2005: 41,955 loans
2000-2001: 88 per cent
Estimate 2002-2003: 93 per cent
Target 2004-2005: 97 per cent
2000-2001: 5,850 women
Estimate 2002-2003: 5,662 women
Target 2004-2005: 6,724 women
26.25 Significant external factors that may affect the achievement of the expected accomplishments are:
(a) Continued deterioration of the Palestinian economy and the regime of curfews and closures affecting programme performance in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, resulting in a decline in credit outreach and cost recovery;
(b) Regional instability leading to a decline in the demand for loans, thus resulting in a slowdown in the expansion of the programme in Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic;
(c) A return to negotiations and the lifting of closures and curfews in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip could lead to the programme surpassing its targets.
26.26 During the biennium 2004-2005, the following outputs will be delivered:
(a) Disbursement of 28,795 loans valued at $28.92 million in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic through the small-scale enterprise credit and the microenterprise credit programmes;
(b) Provision of business training courses in the Gaza Strip to support small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship;
(c) Introduction of the consumer loan product in Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic following its successful launch in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; disbursement of 5,000 loans valued at $2.21 million;
(d) Provision of 6,724 loans valued at $5.17 million to women refugees through the solidarity group lending programme;
(e) A new loan management system that is fully integrated with an appropriate accounting software package will be designed or purchased and will be fully operational.
Table 26.8 Objectives for the biennium, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement
Table 26.9 Resource requirements
26.27 The amount of $29,142,900 provides for international posts and general temporary assistance. The increase of $864,200 in resources is due to the delayed impact of seven new posts approved by the General Assembly for the biennium 2002-2003.
Table 26.10 Summary of follow-up action taken to implement relevant recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
Organizational structure and post distribution for the biennium 2004-2005
Recurrent outputs not to be carried out in the