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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
30 September 2009


PRESS RELEASE
30 September 2009

UNRWA Commissioner-General ends farewell visit to Syria


Damascus, 30 September 2009

UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen Koning AbuZayd, made her last official visit to Syria as UNRWA’s Commissioner-General.

"I feel very proud to have served as Commissioner-General of this great organization for the past five years, working towards improving Palestine refugees’ lives" said Ms. AbuZayd earlier in the day. "…and I feel especially grateful to the Syrian people and government for always lending a helpful hand to us".

During her three-day visit, Ms. AbuZayd held meetings with Government’s Ministers. Talks focused on current and future challenges facing the Agency and the Government’s critical role in supporting the Agency’s work.

Ms. AbuZayd singled out Mr. Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees, for "his unwaivering commitment to the rights of Palestine refugees, and for his on-going support to, and genuine interest in UNRWA’s activities, particularly those targeting the most vulnerable members of the community."

In Aleppo on 28 September, Ms. AbuZayd inaugurated the first phase of the Neirab Rehabilitation Project, one of the most ambitious shelter rehabilitation projects undertaken by UNRWA in Syria. This was followed on 29 September with the inauguration of facilities in Sbeineh Camp, financed with donations from the Governments of Germany and the United States, and the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society, and attendance at the 2009 Global Peace Games for Children and Youth held at the Palestinian Athletics City, Yarmouk.

In a meeting with UNRWA staff, Ms. AbuZayd highlighted her deep appreciation to for all the support given during her term recognizing that UNRWA’s best asset is its human capital.

Karen Koning AbuZayd has served as UNRWA’s Commissioner-General since June 2005 and as its Deputy Commissioner-General from 2000-2005. She will step down at the end of this year.


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