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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/55/13 (SUPP)
15 October 2000

General Assembly
Official Records
Fifty-fifth session
Supplement No. 13 (A/55/13)



Report of the Commissioner-General
of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East



1 July 1999 - 30 June 2000



Note

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

Contents
Chapter
Paragraphs
Page
Abbreviations
v
Letter of transmittal
vi
Letter dated 28 September 2000 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General of the Agency
vii
I. Introduction
1–18
1
II. General developments in Agency programmes
19–83
5
A. Education
19–39
5
B. Health
40–53
10
C. Relief and social services
54–67
15
D. Income generation
68–74
19
E. Peace Implementation Programme
75–77
21
F. Projects
78–80
22
G. Lebanon Appeal
81–83
23
III. Financial matters
84–103
24
A. Fund structure
84–87
24
B. Budget, income and expenditure
88–94
24
C. Extrabudgetary activities
95–96
25
D. Current financial situation
97–103
25
IV. Legal matters
104–127
26
A. Agency staff
104–116
26
B. Agency services and premises
117–126
30
C. Claims against Governments
127
31
V. Jordan
128–146
31
A. Education
128–133
31
B. Health
134–138
32
C. Relief and social services
139–146
33
VI. Lebanon
147–166
34
A. Education
147–153
34
B. Health
154–158
35
C. Relief and social services
159–166
36
VII. Syrian Arab Republic
167–182
38
A. Education
167–170
38
B. Health
171–175
38
C. Relief and social services
176–182
39
VIII. West Bank
183–201
40
A. Education
183–188
40
B. Health
189–192
41
C. Relief and social services
193–201
42
IX. Gaza Strip
202–218
45
A. Education
202–205
45
B. Health
206–209
45
C. Relief and social services
210–218
46
Annexes
I. Statistical and financial information tables
49
II.Pertinent records of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies
63

Abbreviations
ACABQAdvisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
CBOCommunity-based organization
CRCCommunity rehabilitation centre
ECEuropean Community
IDFIsrael Defence Forces
PIPPeace Implementation Programme
PLOPalestine Liberation Organization
RSSDRelief and Social Services Department
UNAIDSJoint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme
UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPAUnited Nations Population Fund
UNICEFUnited Nations Children’s Fund
UNRWAUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
UNSCOOffice of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories
UNTSOUnited Nations Truce Supervision Organization
WHOWorld Health Organization

Letter of transmittal
28 September 2000

I have the honour to submit to the General Assembly my annual report on the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, in compliance with the request contained in paragraph 21 of resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and with paragraph 8 of resolution 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958.

During the period covered by my report, UNRWA continued to deliver a wide range of basic services to the 3.7 million Palestine refugees registered in its five fields of operation. As in previous years, the Agency’s financial situation threatened to disrupt those services, and the Agency was able to maintain its output only after receipt of additional pledges from donors to meet urgent needs.

In the introduction in chapter I, a precis of events and developments in the region is provided, with particular reference to UNRWA operations in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Chapter II covers general developments in UNRWA’s main programmes in education; health; relief and social services; income-generation; donor-funded projects; and projects funded under the Lebanon Appeal.

Chapter III covers financial matters, with reference to the structure of the various funds; budget, income and expenditure; extrabudgetary activities; and the Agency’s current financial situation.

Chapter IV deals with legal matters, in particular those relating to Agency staff, services and premises, and with constraints affecting Agency operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Chapter V provides information on UNRWA’s operations and three main programmes in Jordan, while chapter VI deals with Lebanon, chapter VII with the Syrian Arab Republic, chapter VIII with the West Bank, and chapter IX with the Gaza Strip.

Annex I provides statistical and financial information; annex II refers to pertinent records of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies.

Following established practice, the annual report in draft form was distributed in advance to 10 members of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, whose relevant comments and observations were given careful consideration. The draft report was discussed with the Commission at a meeting held at Amman on 28 September 2000. The views of the Commission are contained in a letter addressed to me from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission. A copy of the letter follows.

I have maintained the practice of showing my report in draft form to representatives of the Government of Israel and giving due consideration to their comments, both in the context of the situation prevailing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967 and subsequent developments. In connection with the General Assembly’s decision in 1993 that the Advisory Commission establish a working relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a representative of the PLO attended the meeting of the Commission on 28 September 2000 and a copy of the draft report was also shared with him.

(Signed) Peter Hansen
Commissioner-General
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


President of the General Assembly
United Nations
New York


Letter dated 28 September 2000 from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission
of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General of the Agency


At its regular session on 28 September 2000, the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East considered your draft annual report on the Agency’s activities and operations during the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, which is to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session.

The Advisory Commission noted with great appreciation the efforts of UNRWA, despite the severe financial constraints under which the Agency carried out its operations, to keep to a high standard the services UNRWA continues to provide to the more than 3.7 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, Gaza and the West Bank.

The Advisory Commission expressed great appreciation to the host Governments for their continuing support and services provided to Palestine refugees. The Commission also recognized the important contribution made by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the services it provides to the Palestine refugees.

The Commission took note of political developments in the region affecting Palestine refugees, welcoming the resumption of negotiations in the Middle East peace process and the personal intervention of the President of the United States, and called for further extensive efforts to reach a just and comprehensive peace on all tracks. The Commission underlined the need for donor countries to continue to enhance their contributions to UNRWA’s budget at this current critical stage so that UNRWA can continue to fulfil its mandate until a just settlement to the refugee issue has been implemented, in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.

The Agency’s services to Palestine refugees over the past 50 years have contributed very tangibly to the socio-economic well-being of the refugees and thus to stability in the region. The Commission recognized this as a key role of the Agency, and in this light, the immediate need to mobilize an adequate level of resources to help eliminate the shortfall in contributions to its core budget, particularly against the background of developments in the peace process. The Commission thanked the donor countries that had maintained or increased their annual contributions and called on other donors for similar levels of support so as to ensure that the Agency is able to fulfil its mandate in providing services to Palestine refugees.

The Commission commended your continuing efforts to broaden the Agency’s donor base and welcomed your visits and discussions in the Gulf countries in the spring of 2000. The Commission hoped that your efforts would soon lead to significant additions to the group of major donor countries. It also encouraged you to explore creatively the possibilities of additional revenue resources.

The Commission noted with appreciation that the new format of the Agency’s budget had been welcomed by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions as a considerable improvement over past practice. The Commission noted with concern the imminent cash crisis the Agency is facing. The Agency is expected to face another cash shortfall by November 2000, which may even increase when taking into account certain new emerging needs towards the end of the year 2000. The Commission noted the importance to the Agency of donors’ providing adequate, predictable and early payments to the greatest extent possible, so as to alleviate this situation.

The Commission welcomed the various measures the Agency has undertaken to improve the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of its programmes. Special note was taken of the introduction of a number of new administrative reform measures to cope with the constraints imposed by financial difficulties and the programme to introduce a new technological package to modernize the Agency’s financial, payroll and human resources systems, among others.

The Commission called upon you to make full use of UNRWA’s Policy Analysis Unit, in recognition that an Agency the size of UNRWA needs to do ongoing strategic planning, in consultation with host and donor Governments, as appropriate.

The Commission commended the Agency’s continuing efforts to resolve the issues of debts owed to UNRWA. The Commission viewed with concern the growing debt due to non-reimbursement of VAT charges, which up to 31 July 2000 exceeded $17.9 million. The Commission recognized that there had been some improvement in the situation, notably in reimbursements of VAT payments by the Palestinian Authority for years 1999 and the first half of 2000 in Gaza. The Commission understood that the Agency was also seeking to resolve anomalies that have arisen regarding port charges amounting to $4.3 million through discussions with all the authorities, including the Israeli authorities, concerned with the issue. It also noted that substantial progress had been made to resolve issues related to the European Gaza Hospital account. The Commission called on all concerned to make every effort to pay back debts owed to UNRWA as soon as possible, in the current year.

The Commission noted with concern that the difficulties faced by UNRWA as a result of restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories - for example, restrictions on the movement of staff and goods - had continued in the period under review, and it called for urgent measures to remove the obstacles to the efficient operation of the Agency.

The Commission took note with appreciation of the efforts made by the Agency to mark the fiftieth year of its services to the refugees. It commended the Agency on its information programme for the anniversary, including the exhibit at United Nations Headquarters, inaugurated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, special commemorative events in all of the UNRWA fields, video features and news items, and op-ed articles in the international media.

The Commission expressed its appreciation to the staff of UNRWA for its continued dedication and commitment to the service of Palestine refugees under your leadership, in difficult times. It expressed its full agreement with your view that the entire staff of UNRWA is its greatest asset and that everything possible should be done to provide them with the best possible working conditions, despite the financial constraints.

The Commission expressed its warm appreciation to UNRWA for its continued commitment to the service of the refugees at a particularly important stage in its development.

(Signed) Leo D’Aes
Chairman of the Advisory Commission



Chapter I

Introduction


1. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the largest United Nations programme in the region, employing some 21,000 staff and operating or supporting some 900 facilities. Through its regular programmes, UNRWA provides education, health care, relief and social services to the 3.7 million refugees registered with the Agency in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Agency services include: elementary and preparatory schooling; vocational and technical training; comprehensive primary health care, including family health; assistance towards hospitalization; environmental health services in refugee camps; relief assistance to needy households; and developmental social services for women, youth and persons with disabilities. Those services are for the most part provided directly by UNRWA to the beneficiaries, in parallel to public-sector services. UNRWA services are funded mainly by voluntary contributions from donors. Where appropriate and feasible, refugees contribute to the cost of Agency services by means of voluntary contributions, co-payments, self-help schemes, volunteer efforts and participation fees. In addition to its regular programmes, the Agency carries out a range of infrastructure projects and operates a highly successful income-generation programme which provides loans to micro and small enterprises.

2. UNRWA commemorated 50 years of operation during the reporting period (the Agency was established by General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and began its work on 1 May 1950). The Secretary-General spoke at a special observance in New York on 8 December 1999 and later inaugurated a commemorative exhibition of photographs portraying refugee living conditions, which was on view in the General Assembly building throughout May 2000. The Secretary-General paid tribute to UNRWA’s many staff who had delivered essential services to generations of refugees in a region and during a half-century marked by displacement, destruction and political upheaval. He said UNRWA’s achievements in education, health and relief care were a result of their dedication, and warned that those achievements were under threat due to the Agency’s financial situation. The anniversary was also marked by the refugees in field-based events during the period, including the preparation of five large embroidered quilts illustrating what UNRWA has meant to them. During these anniversary events, it was widely noted that the longevity of UNRWA, and the continuing need for its services, signified that the refugee problem remained unresolved.

3. UNRWA’s historic achievements were overshadowed by continuing financial and operational difficulties facing the Agency during the reporting period. Although the majority of austerity and cost-reduction measures imposed in 1997 were lifted, UNRWA’s budget deficit and cash-flow situation remained critical. The Agency ended 1999 with a deficit of $61.4 million in the regular cash budget of $322.1 million approved by the General Assembly and with depleted cash and working capital reserves. It was only possible to meet the December 1999 payroll for UNRWA staff following an appeal to donors for additional funding and the advance payment of some contributions scheduled for the year 2000. By the middle of 2000, the financial outlook for the year was equally difficult, as the Agency again faced the prospect of a large shortfall in funding of the regular budget by year’s end and of a serious liquidity crisis from November 2000. Seeking to head off the crisis, UNRWA appealed to its major donors in spring 2000 for additional funds and prompt payment of pledges. The Commissioner-General undertook a number of visits to donor capitals in Europe, to the Arab League Secretariat in Cairo, and to the Gulf, to underline the gravity of the Agency’s situation and to appeal for additional contributions.

4. The Agency’s biennium budget for 2000-2001 1/ was well received by donors and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for the clarity of its presentation and objectives. A new preparation process and format sought to enhance the budget’s usefulness as a planning, management and fund-raising tool and to offer greater transparency. The new budget was derived from a detailed programme of work which specified results-oriented objectives for each substantive programme. The budget also covered the totality of the Agency’s budgetary requirements, including unfunded project requirements alongside the budget for its regular programmes. Budget preparation was guided by planning assumptions rather than budget ceilings. At the Pledging Conference for UNRWA in December 1999, it was underlined that the budget was designed to safeguard the quality and level of services to refugees and that it must be fully funded in order to achieve that aim. By mid-2000, an Agency-wide exercise was under way to monitor expenditure against budget proposals. The exercise would be used to reallocate expenditure to priority areas, where necessary. The financial situation is discussed in more detail in chapter III of the present report.

5. New area staff rules were implemented during the reporting period for all new recruits and those working on temporary contracts. The rules contained an improved package of entitlements for temporary staff but lower salaries for new recruits, compared to staff employed under the old rules. The cost reductions were necessary in order to enable UNRWA to deliver its services to an increasing population of registered refugees against a background of diminishing resources. The Agency was unable to implement a general pay increase for its staff, which was included in its budget but remained unfunded. UNRWA’s administration continued its dialogue with staff representatives to seek ways to improve their conditions of service within existing resources.

6. The Agency continued to seek greater efficiency through an internal restructuring and reform programme. Donor funding was used to continue technical assistance in three areas: reform of the Agency’s financial systems; improving educational planning mechanisms; and improving procurement policies and procedures. By mid-2000, the Agency had selected a new financial system, which was intended to be operational by June 2001, in time for the preparation of the next biennium budget. The new system would also include an element to improve the process of change management within UNRWA. With donor-funded technical expertise, the education programme developed a five-year framework for education planning; additional donor funding was being sought to implement a number of follow-up projects. A comprehensive review of procurement policies and procedures was completed in early 2000 and a series of changes implemented under the auspices of an in-house working group. A donor-funded technical expertise mission made a series of recommendations with regard to the preservation of the Agency’s extensive archives, which contain historical data on the Palestine refugees. The Agency was urgently seeking additional funding to enable it to begin the electronic scanning and filing of data to ensure that files were protected from the threat of destruction by accident or natural decay. UNRWA continued to develop its web site, which was hosting some 60,000 visits each month by June 2000. The Agency was examining ways of improving further its public information capability.

7. The Agency’s external operating environment continued to be volatile. There were a number of incidents of violence, in particular in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza fields (see separate paras. below). The election of a new Israeli Government in mid-1999 and the subsequent resumption of Israeli/Palestinian negotiations brought an expectation of progress towards a comprehensive settlement to the long-standing conflict in the region. At the same time, Palestine refugees were anxious about their future status. UNRWA’s continuing financial difficulties were interpreted by some as politically motivated, signalling a weakening in the international community’s commitment to the refugee issue. During the reporting period, a further Israeli redeployment took place in the West Bank (see para. 11 below). The Agency was examining internally the possible impact on its operations of developments in the peace process. The withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000 was welcomed in the region and by the international community and led to a period of relative calm after a year of sporadic fighting in the Israeli-occupied zone in the south. Peace negotiations between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic resumed in late 1999 but were suspended in April 2000.

8. The Agency spent some $400,000 to prepare and safeguard its computer information systems for the “Y2K” rollover from 1999 to 2000. A task force was created to oversee the rollover. Everything went smoothly, and no signs of the “millennium bug” were detected.

9. UNRWA continued to cooperate with the Governments of Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic and with the Palestinian Authority, in providing services to Palestine refugees. The Agency cooperated with Israel, as required, on a number of issues related to UNRWA operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Agency continued to raise with the Israeli authorities the issue of constraints to its operations caused by, inter alia, restrictions on the movement of staff and goods between the West Bank and Gaza and Israel (see chap. IV below). The host authorities provided direct assistance to refugees parallel to UNRWA services. The Agency appreciated the host authorities’ strong support for UNRWA, especially their efforts to raise awareness of and to help resolve the Agency’s continuing financial difficulties. The League of Arab States also reiterated its support for UNRWA’s work and urged its member States and others to increase contributions to the Agency.

10. The Palestinian Authority continued to support UNRWA’s work in the occupied territory, including the self-rule areas, with significant cooperation in planning, policy formulation and service delivery in the respective programmes of UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority. The further development of Palestinian institutions during the reporting period was instrumental in broadening the range and scope of such cooperation. The European Gaza Hospital, which was constructed under UNRWA supervision using European Community funding, was one such example. In mid-1999, following contacts between UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority and the European Community, an international management team was appointed to oversee the work in order to allow the hospital to open (see para. 207 below). The Agency’s financial problems prevented further progress in the harmonization of some services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, notably in the education cycle (see para. 37 below). A number of high-level discussions during the reporting period between UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority resulted in some progress on resolving the issue of reimbursement by the Palestinian Authority of payments made by UNRWA of value-added tax. Following a meeting with the Palestinian Minister of Finance in early 2000, the Palestinian Authority reimbursed the outstanding amounts for value-added tax for 1999 for the Gaza field only. By the end of June 2000, those charges had reached a cumulative value of some $23.3 million. That non-reimbursement and other outstanding commitments to the Agency exacerbated UNRWA’s precarious situation and threatened to disrupt the provision of core services. In various forums, UNRWA’s major donors emphasized the importance of a speedy resolution of the issue of value-added tax and other charges. UNRWA worked closely to resolve a long-standing dispute over co-payments by refugees at the Agency-run Qalqilya Hospital in the West Bank. An agreement was reached in April 2000 allowing work to proceed on the construction of a new pediatric wing and co-payments to resume (see para. 191 below). UNRWA joined with the Palestinian community and the Palestinian Authority in welcoming Pope John Paul II on his visit to Dheisheh camp near Bethlehem in March 2000.

11. The security situation in the West Bank remained tense for much of the reporting period, with sporadic clashes between Palestinians and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Palestinians and Israeli settlers, and between Palestinian residents and the Palestinian security forces. The most serious incidents occurred on 15 May 2000, when Palestinians staged protests on the occasion of the fifty-second anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. Major clashes in many areas of the West Bank between IDF and Israeli settlers, on the one side, and Palestinian security forces and civilians, on the other, led to six Palestinian deaths and several hundred injuries during the ensuing six days of unrest. The number of Israeli casualties was estimated at around 45. Citing security concerns, the Israeli authorities continued to impose full closures of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and closures in various West Bank localities, although to a lesser degree than in the previous reporting period (see paras. 109 and 110 below). The West Bank remained divided into non-contiguous separate zones, with area A under full Palestinian control, area B under Palestinian civil control but Israeli security control, and area C under full Israeli control, except for civil responsibilities not related to territory. The Israelis completed a further redeployment from the West Bank in March 2000 in conformity with the Wye Memorandum of October 1998, giving the Palestinians full control of some 18 per cent of the West Bank (“area A”) and partial control of some 25 per cent (“area B”).

12. Socio-economic conditions remained difficult in the Gaza Strip, whose residents continued to rely heavily on employment opportunities inside Israel. The security situation in the Gaza Strip was in general less tense than that in the West Bank although there were sporadic low-level clashes between IDF and their Palestinian counterparts, and between Palestinians and Israeli settlers. Palestinians protested the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the Gush Katif bloc and the reinforcement of IDF security positions near the settlements in the first half of 2000.

13. Labour and trade flows between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip were higher in 1999 than in 1998. The opening of a “safe passage” between the West Bank and Gaza in 18 October 1999 eased communication and travel between the two areas, although the permit system remained an obstacle to free movement. Real gross domestic product and gross national product in the West Bank and Gaza Strip grew by an estimated 6 and 7 per cent, respectively, in 1999. Despite the modest economic recovery, refugee communities remained among the poorest in Palestinian society, especially in the Gaza Strip, where an estimated 40 per cent of the population lived in poverty. With registered refugees accounting for three quarters of the population, the highest proportion of any field, UNRWA played a major role in providing services to the Gaza Strip. UNRWA sought to alleviate the hardship faced by the Palestine refugees through a range of social services (see para. 57 below) and its income-generation programme, which was geared to the neediest and most disadvantaged. UNRWA’s 2000 regular programme budget for the Gaza Strip and West Bank fields were, respectively, $85.4 million (compared with $103.5 million in 1999) and $48.4 million ($56.1 million in 1999).

14. The Palestine refugee population in Jordan was the largest of any field. The majority of Palestine refugees enjoyed full citizenship of that country, giving them access to governmental services and development assistance. Relations and cooperation between UNRWA and the Government of Jordan remained excellent. The Government reported expenditures on behalf of Palestine refugees and displaced persons of $380.4 million during the reporting period, mainly on education, rent and utilities, subsidies and rations, camp services, health care, public security and social services. The Agency’s 2000 regular programme budget for the Jordan field was $70.7 million (compared with $75 million in 1999).

15. The Palestine refugee community in Lebanon, which was among the most disadvantaged of any field, suffered from poor living and housing conditions, restrictions on mobility and high rates of unemployment. The difficult socio-economic conditions were reflected in the high proportion of special hardship cases registered with the Agency (see para. 160 below). UNRWA remained the main provider of basic education, health and relief and social services to Palestine refugees, who had limited access to governmental services and whose access to expensive private services was restricted by limited financial resources. The Lebanese authorities continued to prohibit construction in certain refugee camps, and in other camps entry of construction materials and construction was subject to military approval, which was not always granted. One UNRWA project suffered delays throughout the reporting period due to those measures. Internal Palestinian disputes resulted in a number of deaths and other violent incidents inside the camps. UNRWA operations were not disrupted by the events in southern Lebanon, although aerial bombardments by the Israel Air Force of other parts of Lebanon resulted in some disruption to operations in the Beirut area. UNRWA maintained a constructive relationship with the Government of Lebanon. The Agency’s 2000 regular programme budget for the Lebanon field was $43.5 million ($46.6 million in 1999).

16. UNRWA continued to enjoy good cooperation with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic during the reporting period in providing services to refugees. President Hafez al-Assad died in June 2000 after some 30 years in power and was succeeded by his son, Dr. Bashar al-Assad. Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic benefited from a policy permitting full access to governmental services. UNRWA welcomed the Government’s decision to recognize the Agency’s vocational training centre diplomas, which would facilitate employment prospects for Palestine refugees. UNRWA and the Syrian Government cooperated closely, inter alia, on planning to improve environmental health services to Palestine refugees (see para. 174). The Government reported expenditures on behalf of Palestine refugees of some $58.8 million during the reporting period on education, social services, health services, housing and utilities, security, supply costs, administration and other items. The Agency’s 2000 regular programme budget for the Syrian field was $21.7 million ($23.8 million in 1999).

17. UNRWA maintained close cooperation with a number of United Nations agencies, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Agency also cooperated with local and international non-governmental organizations in its five fields of operation. In order to fulfil the responsibilities of the United Nations designated official for the overall security and protection of United Nations staff and family members in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, UNRWA maintained contacts with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). UNRWA also continued to participate in the multilateral aid coordination structures for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, facilitated by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

18. The Agency’s performance during the reporting period was satisfactory, given the constraints on funding. In general, the Agency managed to maintain the standard of its education and health services, although staff and infrastructure were increasingly under pressure, with unacceptably high teacher/student and doctor/patient ratios, overcrowding in clinics and classrooms and a general lack of funds to carry out essential maintenance. (The performance of individual programmes is discussed in more detail in chap. II.) The Agency continued to play its role as a source of stability in a difficult regional environment. The delivery of effective and efficient services remained the Agency’s top priority.

Chapter II

General developments in Agency programmes


A. Education


19. Objectives. The mission of the education programme was to help Palestine refugee children and youth acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed to become productive members of their community in accordance with their needs, identity and cultural heritage, interdependence and tolerance towards differences among individuals and groups, and to prepare them to encounter and adjust efficiently to the multifaceted challenges and uncertainties of a rapidly changing world and to compete successfully at higher levels of education and in the job market. The Department of Education fulfilled this mission through three main subprogrammes - general education; teacher education; and vocational and technical education - in addition to its contribution to the scholarships subprogramme for continuing scholars.

20. Elementary and preparatory schooling. UNRWA’s basic education programme consisted of a six-year elementary cycle and a three-year or four-year preparatory cycle, depending on the host authorities’ education systems. A total of 466,955 pupils in the 1999/00 school year were accommodated in 637 UNRWA schools in the five fields of operation (see annex I, table 4). Total enrolment increased by 2.1 per cent, or 9,606 pupils, over the 1998/99 school year. This growth, however, was not evenly distributed; Gaza continued to have rapid growth (6 per cent), the West Bank and Lebanon continued to have moderate growth (3.6 and 0.03 per cent, respectively), the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan had registered negative growth (-0.6 per cent and -1 per cent, respectively). While the main cause of the overall increase was ascribed to natural growth in the refugee population, other factors were also at work, including the movement of Palestinian families within the area of operation, particularly from Jordan to Gaza and the West Bank; the transfer of refugee pupils from Agency schools to government schools (Jordan); and the transfer of refugee pupils from tuition-based private schools to Agency schools (Lebanon). The Jordan and Gaza fields each accounted for approximately one third of total Agency pupil enrolment, while the other three fields together accounted for the remaining third. UNRWA’s school system continued to maintain full gender equity, with 50 per cent of pupils being female. Under existing exchange agreements between UNRWA and the host authorities to provide schooling for pupils in remote areas, 173,096 refugee pupils were reportedly enrolled at government and private schools at the elementary and preparatory levels. Some 48,411 non-refugee pupils attended UNRWA schools at the elementary and preparatory levels.

21. Secondary schooling. UNRWA offered secondary-level education on a limited scale in the Lebanon field only in order to address the low access of Palestine refugees to government schools, and the prohibitively high cost of private schools. The three secondary schools at Burj el-Barajneh, Ein el-Hilweh and Rashidieh accommodated a total of 1,696 pupils (see para. 148 below). Some 67,100 refugee students in all fields were studying at government and private secondary schools, according to UNRWA estimates.

22. Education infrastructure. UNRWA’s education infrastructure remained in need of major improvements to continue to accommodate new school entrants and provide a satisfactory learning environment. Despite significant results accomplished under the Peace Implementation Programme (PIP), enrolment growth exceeded the capacity of Agency schools. Between the 1993/94 and 1999/00 school years, the number of school buildings increased by 2.4 per cent. Moreover, since many UNRWA schools were constructed in the 1950s or 1960s, they had become dilapidated beyond repair, a problem exacerbated by the lack of sufficient funds for adequate maintenance, particularly in the Gaza field. Overcrowding within the Agency’s education system continued, with the average classroom occupancy remaining at 44 pupils in the 1999/00 school year. Occupancy was highest in Gaza (50) and lowest in the West Bank (about 38). UNRWA, however, sought to address the shortcomings by obtaining project funding, particularly under the Peace Implementation Programme (PIP), for the improvement and expansion of its education infrastructure. The number of UNRWA schools dropped from 650 in 1998/99 to 640 in 1999/00 due to the construction of new school buildings able to accommodate additional numbers of pupils in fewer administrative schools. New construction under PIP helped to reduce the running cost of schools, through budget savings in teacher and headteacher posts, and helped to provide a better educational environment for Palestine refugee children, thus improving cost-effectiveness. During the reporting period the Agency completed the construction of 12 school buildings, 32 additional classrooms to avoid triple shifting and to replace unsafe classrooms, and three specialized rooms. Furthermore, eight toilet blocks and two water reservoirs were constructed. Nine school buildings and 12 classrooms were under construction.

23. Double shifting. In response to the continual increases in the number of pupils due to high population growth, coupled with limited funds for the construction of additional school premises, UNRWA had to resort to operating schools on a double shift basis - i.e., housing two separate administrative schools in a single building. UNRWA had hoped to reduce the number of schools operating on a double-shift basis. Notwithstanding the expanded programme of school construction under PIP since 1993, there was no significant improvement in the rate of double shifting between the 1992/93 school year (75 per cent) and the 1999/00 school year (72.2 per cent). UNRWA is continuing the policy of having double shifting as a major planning assumption to avoid triple shifting. The latter would reduce teaching time, exclude extracurricular activities and increase maintenance costs. The Agency, however, will continue to operate schools on a single-shift basis to the extent possible.

24. Rented schools. In the past, UNRWA had needed to house some of its schools in rented premises, mostly outside refugee camps. Not having been designed as schools, such rented premises generally lacked proper lighting and ventilation and adequate space for classrooms, libraries, laboratories, computer rooms and playgrounds. The situation resulted in cramped conditions for pupils and staff and increased costs by limiting the number of pupils that could be accommodated in each classroom. In the 1999/00 school year, the classroom occupancy at rented schools averaged 31 pupils, compared to 46 pupils at Agency-built schools. Replacement of rented premises with schools built in accordance with UNRWA specifications would provide a much better learning environment and improve cost-efficiency since more pupils could be accommodated with the same number of teachers and administrative staff. Therefore, UNRWA established the objective of replacing all rented school premises with Agency-built schools, subject to the availability of project funding and appropriate land plots. Through PIP, the Agency managed to reduce the number of rented premises from 94 in the 1993/94 school year to 71 in 1999/00, a 24.4 per cent drop. Those 71 rented premises housed 98 schools, with the Lebanon and West Bank fields having the largest portion of such schools, due to the geographical spread of Palestine refugees there.

25. Education reform by host authorities. Since UNRWA’s education programme continued to follow host authority education systems, changes in the education programmes of the host authorities entailed introducing such changes in UNRWA schools. The most significant issue in this respect was the extension of the basic education cycle in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from nine to 10 years, which the Agency remained unable to carry out, due to financial constraints. The Palestinian Authority continued to accommodate tenth grade students in its schools. A new Palestinian curriculum was to be introduced in 2000/01, to replace the Jordanian curriculum in the West Bank and the Egyptian curriculum in Gaza. In the Syrian Arab Republic, a new study plan and new curricula and textbooks for the elementary and preparatory cycles were being gradually introduced. The new format for the third elementary grade was fully implemented in UNRWA schools in 1999/00 while the new format for the fourth elementary grade was implemented in selected schools in both UNRWA and government systems during the same period. In Lebanon, a new education system and new curricula and textbooks for elementary, preparatory and secondary cycles were introduced in 1998/99. The new curricula were implemented in all UNRWA first, fourth, seventh and tenth grades in 1998/99 and in all UNRWA second, fifth, eighth and eleventh grades in 1999/00. All new textbooks were provided to Agency schools either with funding from the regular budget or with donor project funding, and teachers were trained in the curricular changes. In Jordanian government schools, computer science was introduced in the preparatory cycle in the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. UNRWA introduced computer science in the tenth grade only, due to budget constraints.

26. Teaching tolerance and conflict resolution. In June 2000, the Agency began a project with donor funding aimed at further strengthening and supporting UNRWA’s efforts to promote concepts and principles of basic human rights, to raise awareness of the importance of tolerance and to train Palestine refugee children and youth in non-violent means of conflict resolution, including the promotion of peer mediation techniques. The project was to be implemented on a pilot basis in the West Bank and Gaza fields. To maximize the benefits that could be achieved, a peer mediation sub-project was included. The sub-project sought to enhance and expand work already begun in Gaza by a non-governmental organization, Search for Common Ground, and the Palestinian Centre for the Resolution of Inter-Communal Disputes. The target groups of the project were pupils of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades, their teachers and head teachers, and the supervisors of the concerned subjects. A project team composed of a project coordinator and selected education staff from headquarters (Amman) and the two fields (Gaza and West Bank), plus local consultants, were to work together in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the project. The duration of the project was one year, and the total budget required was $840,128.

27. Remedial and special education. UNRWA continued to provide specially designed programmes with a view to maintaining achievement levels and enabling slow learning students and pupils with learning difficulties to benefit fully from the Agency’s basic education services. Compensatory measures for pupils included remedial classes, voluntary extra class periods, audio-visual programmes, curriculum enrichment materials and self-learning kits. In the 1999/00 school year, those activities benefited 650 slow learners, 814 pupils classified as remedial cases, nine blind children and 32 deaf children. In the absence of sustained project funding for special education, the Agency explored ways to provide assistance to all children with learning difficulties at no additional cost by utilizing the Agency’s available resources and expertise.

28. School councils. School councils were in operation at all Agency schools in the five fields of operation. Each council was composed of 10 members - namely, the headteacher (chairperson), three teachers, three members selected from the local community and three students. The councils were to maintain cooperation between the schools and the local community, to promote the role of the school within the local environment, and to make optimal use of the resources of both the school and the local community.

29. Vocational and technical training. Total enrolment in the eight UNRWA vocational and technical training centres in the five fields of operation was 4,635 in the 1999/00 school year, a decrease of 20 over the previous year (see annex I, table 5). At the post-preparatory level, 22 two-year vocational training courses were offered to trainees in the building, electrical, electronic, mechanical and metal-working trades, and in hairdressing, clothing production and dressmaking. At the post-secondary level, 29 two-year technical/semi-professional courses were offered to male and female trainees in a variety of technical, paramedical and commercial skills. Women accounted for 63.1 per cent of all trainees enrolled in technical/semi-professional courses in 1999/00. Overall, women accounted for 31.7 per cent of all trainees. Courses varied from centre to centre, according to the needs of local labour markets and the availability of training opportunities at other institutions. Owing to financial constraints, the Agency was able to introduce new courses or expand the capacity of the existing ones only by deleting old courses. Three new courses were introduced during 1999/00: assistant speech therapy at Ramallah women’s training centre, to replace the medical laboratory technician course; graphic design, to replace the blacksmith course at the Gaza training centre; and industrial electronics, to replace the mechanical draughting course at Wadi Seer training centre. In addition to the two-year training course (the principal means of job preparation utilized by UNRWA) Agency training centres in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza offered short-term training courses of from 4 to 56 weeks’ duration, organized on an ad hoc basis in cooperation with non-governmental organizations or the Palestinian Authority. During the 1999/00 school year, 229 trainees were enrolled in 12 such courses offering training in aluminium fabrication, Hebrew language, computer literacy, maintenance of solar heating systems, mechanics, maintenance of small engines, block and brick laying, photography, computer-aided design (AUTO-CAD), Windows Network installation, plumbing and central heating, office machinery maintenance and introduction of computer basics. The Agency also sponsored 26 refugee students in vocational training courses at private institutions in Lebanon, mainly with project funding. UNRWA conducted surveys which indicated that 80.4 per cent of the 1998 graduates of its training centres were employed in 1999. Several projects to construct, equip, renovate or upgrade workshops and other training facilities were ongoing or completed during the reporting period. In addition, the establishment of computer centres at all training centres was completed with project funding.

30. Training courses. The eight UNRWA training centres offered 22 trade courses, including diesel and construction equipment mechanics, auto mechanics, auto-body repair, diesel and agricultural machinery mechanics, general electrical installations, auto electrical systems, building construction craftsmanship, carpentry and furniture making, building finishing and decoration, refrigeration and air-conditioning, plumbing and central heating, office equipment maintenance, radio/TV maintenance, smithery and welding, sheet metal, welding and pipe fabrication, machining/welding and aluminium fabrication, machine maintenance, maintenance fitting/machining, dressmaking, clothing production, and hairdressing and beauty culture. The 29 technical/semi-professional courses included computer programing and databases, computer information systems, architectural assistant, architectural engineering, mechanical draughting, quantity surveying, ceramics production, interior design, engineering, graphic design, assistant civil engineering, civil engineering, land surveying, industrial electronics, electronic control and computer applications, business administration, business and office practice, secretarial and office management, marketing and financial management, assistant pharmacist, medical lab technician, nursing, dental hygiene, secretarial and medical records, physiotherapist, assistant speech therapist, social worker, pre-school education, and home and institutional management. In order to make the vocational and technical education and training subprogrammes more relevant and responsive to labour market demands and to strengthen links with industry and employing agencies, UNRWA established an advisory team at headquarters level and consultative committees and field service units at the field level. The advisory team represented various institutions, private sector companies and non-governmental organizations in addition to selected UNRWA staff from headquarters and some fields. Consultative committees and field service units were also created in each of the eight training centres.

31. Educational sciences faculties. As part of the process to upgrade the qualifications of UNRWA teaching staff to meet revised standards set by the Government of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, the three branches of the educational sciences faculties in Jordan and the West Bank continued to provide pre-service and in-service teacher training leading to a first-level university degree. The four-year pre-service programme which granted university-level degrees in classroom teaching, Arabic language, English language, mathematics, science, vocational education, physical education and Islamic education, was offered to 976 secondary school graduates, including 715 women at the Amman, Ramallah men’s and Ramallah women’s training centres. The three-year in-service programme was offered at the Amman training centre only, to 407 UNRWA teachers holding two-year teacher-training diplomas, including 235 women. Its objective was to help them to upgrade their qualifications to first-university degree level with specializations in classroom teaching, Arabic language, or Islamic education, in accordance with Jordanian Government requirements (see annex I, table 5). During the reporting period, 194 students graduated from the pre-service programme and 223 from the in-service programme. Of the 164 pre-service graduates in 1997/98, 38 were recruited by the Agency in 1998/99 to meet staffing requirements in the West Bank and Jordan fields.

32. Institute of Education. In addition to the programmes in the educational sciences faculties, UNRWA provided in-service training through the UNRWA/UNESCO Institute of Education to promote and improve the professional competencies of Agency teachers, headteachers and school supervisors. The training was implemented in cooperation with the five education development centres. In 1999/00, the total number of teachers, headteachers and school supervisors enrolled in the in-service training in the five fields was 1,048. Of that total, 548 trainees were undergoing courses of from one to two years’ duration, while the remaining 500 trainees were new teachers appointed according to UNRWA’s new area staff rules or converted from contract teachers. In addition to training courses organized by the Institute of Education, several other courses were organized and implemented by the fields on an ad hoc basis. In addition, many teachers, headteachers and supervisors continued to pursue training at local universities on their own initiative.

33. University scholarships. Beginning in 1997/98, UNRWA had to discontinue its contribution from the regular budget to the scholarship subprogramme, due to budget constraints. The Agency, nevertheless, continued with project funding to support some scholars until they graduated. In 1999/00, 176 scholars graduated, and 17 failed their studies; the number of continuing scholars was 673; of those, 305 were women. Scholars were studying in 37 universities in 11 countries in the Middle East. The main areas of study pursued by scholarship recipients were engineering (27 per cent), medicine (30 per cent), pharmacy (20 per cent) and dentistry (11 per cent), with other specializations accounting for the remaining 12 per cent. The scholarship awards range in value from $200 to $1,000 per year, depending on university tuition rates.

34. Placement and career guidance. UNRWA sought to facilitate employment opportunities for Palestine refugee graduates of Agency training centres and other educational institutions, both locally and abroad. Counselling and career guidance were offered to pupils in the Agency’s preparatory schools and government secondary schools, to acquaint them with the training courses available at the Agency’s training centres and to help them in the selection of a suitable vocation. The Agency continued to follow up on the employability of its graduates and their career performance after the initial period of employment. Of the 2,531 graduates from UNRWA vocational training centres in 1997/98, 2,035, or 80.4 per cent, were employed in 1999. The Agency’s placement and career guidance office facilitated the work of employers’ recruiting teams, helped match candidates with vacancies, and made candidates aware of available job opportunities. UNRWA also carried out periodic surveys of market demand to achieve a better match between training courses and job requirements.

35. Programme budget and administration. The education programme remained the largest single area of activity, with 14,485 education staff (including teachers, head teachers, school supervisors and administrative staff but excluding support staff), representing some 66 per cent of all Agency staff. The proposed education budget for the biennium 2000-2001 was established at $328.3 million for regular programmes, or some 54 per cent of the total Agency’s regular budget for the period. The proposed 2000-2001 budget for education projects was $62.4 million. Actual expenditure for 1999 was $154.9 million, representing 56.7 per cent of total Agency expenditure. In all fields except Gaza, nominal contributions at prescribed rates were collected from pupils and trainees on a voluntary basis to improve facilities and equipment in schools and training centres. Overall contributions collected in 1999/00 amounted to $854,369. Other forms of community support for the education programme included donations of equipment, furniture and supplies such as photocopiers, tape recorders, videos, overhead projectors, personal computers, printers and other donations, which together totalled approximately $948,295.

36. Special projects. In coordination and cooperation with a United Kingdom consultancy team and senior education staff at both headquarters (Amman) and in the fields, a five-year development plan (2000-2004) was completed, covering educational planning, staff and management development, vocational and technical education, education management information system, personnel and finance. Activities began in January 2000 while the implementation of specific projects resulting from the consultancy were to take effect through project funding. The Computer Information Technology Institute for vocational training centres continued successfully during the year, with the establishment of an advisory team at the headquarters level and consultative committees at the vocational training centres, in order to develop vocational and technical education syllabuses, instructional materials and work programmes. It was hoped that this development would enable UNRWA students to meet labour market needs.

37. Impact of funding shortfalls. The impact of funding shortfalls on UNRWA’s education programme was felt, as it has been since 1993, most directly in the programme’s inability to expand at a rate commensurate with growth in the beneficiary population. The results were reduced teacher/pupil interaction, higher workloads for teaching and supervisory staff, and difficulties in hiring qualified teachers at the new salary scale. Financial constraints also limited the Agency’s attempts to keep up with educational reforms introduced by host authorities, particularly the introduction of the tenth grade in the West Bank and Gaza, which would widen the gap between UNRWA’s and the host authorities’ education systems and undermine ongoing harmonization efforts.

38. Cooperation with the host authorities. UNRWA’s basic education programme continued to follow the host authorities’ education systems. Senior Agency education staff in all fields continued to participate in major educational development activities of host authorities. There was a high degree of cooperation between UNRWA and host authorities in connection with the implementation of curricular changes in national school systems. In the West Bank and Gaza the joint UNRWA/Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education technical coordination committee met in November 1999 and discussed a range of issues, including textbooks, school buildings, in-service teacher training and developments in the preparation of the new Palestinian curriculum. UNRWA provided the Palestinian Authority with several in-service teacher- training programmes and related instructional materials for use in the Authority’s in-service training programme. Institute of Education staff have also trained Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education staff on the use of audio-visual materials. In addition, a new technical cooperation committee was established between UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Higher Education, which held its first meeting in November 1999. Agency staff also participated in the development of the new Palestinian curriculum, in the preparation of a new vocational training strategy and in updating the curricula of some community-college vocational training courses. In Jordan, the Chief of the Field Education Programme sat on the Education Board for the country as a full member and in the Syrian Arab Republic the Chief of the Field Education Programme participated in meetings held for all directors of education.

39. Cooperation with UNESCO and the League of Arab States. UNRWA’s education programme was run in cooperation with UNESCO, which provided seven senior managerial and technical staff to UNRWA, including the Director of Education. Three of the managers held international posts provided by UNESCO on a non-reimbursable loan basis, and four occupied area posts whose costs were covered by UNESCO. Senior education staff participated in the regional UNESCO Conference “Education for All by the Year 2000”, held in Cairo from 24 to 27 January 2000. The Director of Education attended the joint League of Arab States/United Nations sectoral meeting on youth and employment, held in Beirut from 23 to 26 May 2000. The ninth annual joint meeting of UNRWA and the League of Arab States’ Council on Education for the Children of Palestine was held in Cairo in November 1999. The Council welcomed the Agency’s efforts in providing education services to the Palestine refugee children and youth, despite financial constraints.


B. Health


40. Objectives. The mission of UNRWA’s health programme is to protect, preserve and promote the health status of Palestine refugees and meet their basic health needs, consistent with basic WHO principles and concepts and with standards of public-sector health services in the region. UNRWA’s strategic approach to health focuses on preserving the sustainable investment achieved in primary health care, improving the quality of essential health services provided to Palestine refugees within the financial means available, and streamlining health policies and service standards with those of host Governments and the Palestinian Authority. Programme priorities during the biennium 2000-2001 will continue to be focused on sustaining and improving primary health care services, with special emphasis on maternal and child health and disease surveillance and control; achieving further progress in implementing cost-efficiency measures by the use of appropriate technology such as mechanization of refuse collection and disposal equipment to reduce recurrent staff costs; enhancing the process of institutional capacity-building in order to improve staff performance up to defined standards and making optimal use of the limited financial and human resources available to the programme; and improving environmental health infrastructure in refugee camps in the subsectors of water, sewerage and drainage, and solid waste management through project funding.

41. Health status. The demographic and epidemiological profile of the Palestine refugees at the turn of the century resembled that of many populations whose health status was in transition from a developing to a developed stage. While vaccine-preventable diseases were well under control, the prevalence of vehicle and vector-borne infections was still high, and morbidity and mortality from chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension were on the increase. Approximately 60 per cent of the population were women of reproductive age and children below 15. Crude birth rates were as high as 36 per thousand population in the Gaza Strip, 34 in the West Bank and approximately 33 in other fields. The average family size ranged from 5.3 persons in Lebanon to more than 6 in Gaza. The mean marital age ranged from 18.5 years in the Gaza Strip to 20 years in the Syrian Arab Republic, with 10 per cent of refugee girls married at or before 15 years of age. Birth intervals were generally short, with 53 per cent of women in Gaza having birth intervals of less than 24 months. Infant mortality rates were far below the WHO target of 50 deaths per thousand live births for developing countries by the year 2000. Two thirds of such deaths fell within the neonatal period. Approximately 50 per cent of women of reproductive age and children below 3 years of age suffered from moderate to mild levels of iron-deficiency anaemia, and more than 10 per cent of women receiving antenatal care at UNRWA clinics were classified in the high-risk category.

42. Primary care. UNRWA’s health care programme remained focused on comprehensive primary health care, including a full range of maternal and child health and family planning services; school health services, health education and promotion activities; out-patient medical care services; prevention and control of communicable diseases and of non-communicable diseases, and specialist care with emphasis on gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatrics and cardiology. These services were complemented by dental and basic support services such as radiology and laboratory facilities (see annex I, table 6). During the reporting period, Agency outpatient facilities handled 6,793,702 medical visits (including dressings and injections) and 519,284 dental visits. Essential medical supplies and rehabilitation of physical disabilities were also provided within the framework of the primary health care programme. The workload at UNRWA general clinics continued to be high, with an average of 101 medical consultations per doctor per day Agency-wide, and as many as 105 per day in the Gaza Strip and in Jordan fields.

43. Family health. Family health continued to be emphasized as an integral part of UNRWA’s regular health programme. During the reporting period, UNRWA’s primary health care facilities cared for 213,259 children below the age of 3 years, representing approximately 6 per cent of the registered refugee population, and 70,261 pregnant women, who accounted for approximately 56 per cent of expected pregnancies among refugee women of reproductive age based on current crude birth rates. Over 21,137 family planning acceptors were registered during the reporting period, bringing the total number of women using the Agency’s family planning services to more than 75,419. The number of health centres providing intrauterine devices increased from 77 in mid-1998 to 90 in mid-1999. The highest coverage rates of family health services were obtained in the Gaza Strip, owing to the ease of access of refugees to UNRWA facilities. The family health programme continued to emphasize cost-effective investments in the development of human resources to improve the quality of care. The Agency continued to implement its system of maternal death surveillance to help reduce maternal mortality from preventable causes. Performance indicators were developed and applied to measure progress in the coverage and quality of antenatal, post-natal and family planning services. In addition, the Agency provided delivery care through six maternity units integrated within its largest health centres in the Gaza Strip and by supporting hospital births for high-risk pregnancies in all fields. Overall, 95 per cent of reported deliveries were attended by trained personnel, and 98 per cent of pregnant women served by UNRWA were immunized against tetanus. As part of research to assess the health status of the refugee population, the Agency conducted studies on the quality of maternal health care and the prevalence of anaemia. Based on the findings of those surveys, the Agency revised its intervention strategy for prevention and treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia among pregnant women and children below 2 years of age. At national, regional and international meetings sponsored by WHO and other health organizations, the Agency’s field experience in reproductive and family health continued to be acknowledged as a major asset in developing appropriate intervention strategies to improve standards of care throughout the region.

44. Disease prevention and control. UNRWA made special efforts to maintain and further develop an effective programme of disease prevention and control. Activities included the control of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as poliomyelitis and tetanus; the prevention of vector and vehicle-borne infections, such as brucellosis and intestinal parasites; the prevention of newly emerging infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS; the control of re-emerging infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis; and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases associated with lifestyles, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension (see annex I, table 7). To that end, the Agency maintained optimal immunization coverage against the vaccine-preventable diseases, participating in two rounds of national immunization campaigns for the eradication of poliomyelitis, implemented during the reporting period throughout its area of operations, in the context of a WHO regional strategy, in coordination with local health authorities. UNRWA immunized a total of 208,075 refugee children under five during the two rounds. The Agency took steps to reinforce its system of surveillance of communicable diseases, including vaccine-preventable diseases. Special emphasis was placed on strengthening tuberculosis surveillance and control measures and coordinating them with those of public health authorities throughout the area of operations, based on the directly observed short-course treatment strategy. Special care, comprising management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, was provided through all Agency health centres, benefiting 85,064 patients during the reporting period. Special attention continued to be paid to the early detection and management of micro-nutrient disorders, especially iron-deficiency anaemia, which was still highly prevalent among pre-school children and women of reproductive age.

45. Health education. UNRWA continued to implement a wide range of health education activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and raising public awareness within the refugee community. During the reporting period, the Agency’s strategic approach to health education was redefined. Staff were redeployed and activities were integrated within the Agency’s primary health care programme at health centre level and within school education activities. Counselling sessions and audio-visual programmes were offered on a continuing basis for health centre attendees. Schoolchildren were targeted through activities organized by a health tutor in each Agency school, and community health education campaigns were organized on an occasional basis, mainly in camps. In addition, all international health days - such as World Health Day, World No Tobacco Day and World AIDS Day - were marked by activities organized at Agency installations inside and outside camps, and at the community level. The youth-centred educational programme on the prevention of tobacco use, successfully introduced in UNRWA preparatory schools in the 1996/97 school year, continued in 1999/00 and was expanded to include children in the sixth grade and above and students enrolled in vocational training centres and science faculties. In addition, pilot “healthy camp” projects were initiated in all fields to achieve the widest possible community mobilization to advocate water conservation, mass clean-up campaigns and other environmental protection measures. Owing to budget shortfalls, the multisectoral school health education programme on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, introduced in 1995, could not be sustained during the reporting period.

46. Secondary care. UNRWA provided assistance towards secondary care for Palestine refugees through the partial reimbursement of costs incurred for treatment at government hospitals or hospitals run by non-governmental organizations and/or through contractual agreements with private hospitals or hospitals run by non-governmental organizations depending on the field of operation. Secondary care was also provided directly by the Agency at one facility in the West Bank, the 43-bed Qalqiliya Hospital. During the reporting period 46,311 patients benefited from UNRWA assistance, utilizing 138,240 hospital days. Funding shortfalls continued to threaten the sustainability of hospitalization services, making the effective management of scarce resources a top priority. The stricter referral criteria and standard 25 per cent co-payment rate introduced in previous years were accordingly maintained. Hospitalization services in Lebanon could only be maintained at the current level through extrabudgetary contributions, as well as by redeployment of funds from other programmes and fields. Given the severe strain under which the hospitalization programme was functioning, several measures were taken to achieve cost-efficiency gains which helped to sustain essential services by redeployment of beds from private to non-profit hospitals run by non-governmental organizations.

47. Capacity-building. The Agency continued to emphasize the development of human resources for health through basic, in-service and postgraduate training as a key element to improving programme efficiency and the quality of care. Continuing in-service training was directed at upgrading staff skills to defined standards. Such training covered the implementation of health strategies, standard management protocols in family health, disease prevention and control, laboratory techniques, management information systems, and total quality management. Postgraduate training in public health continued to be encouraged at local universities. UNRWA sponsored the training of nine professional staff at Birzeit University, the American University of Beirut, and the Jordan University of Science and Technology. Another six medical officers pursued a short-term training course in community health, which was offered for the fourth consecutive year in Japan. The Agency continued to seek all possible means to maintain essential services within the scarce human and financial resources available. To that end, the Agency pursued a capacity-building programme funded by the United States for enhancing the effectiveness of its senior and middle managers, developed and implemented in collaboration with the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Atlanta, United States of America. For the third year running, programme managers from UNRWA’s five fields of operation and the Palestinian Ministry of Health participated in training workshops on epidemiology, reproductive health counselling and total quality management, organized in collaboration with CDC. The programme also focused on the development of health services research projects in maternal health, non-communicable diseases and quality improvements designed by field teams during the first round of workshops; enhancing computer skills for epidemiological applications; upgrading the managerial skills of staff; and the development of appropriate training material for staff at the service delivery level. The ultimate objectives of that comprehensive programme were to establish a core team of “trainers-of-trainers” who could ensure the sustainability of the programme by transferring the acquired knowledge and skills to other staff; to assess the appropriateness and relevance of the various programme components; and to introduce adjustments to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Agency’s health care system. These activities were complemented by a comprehensive review of the health information system which was ongoing, in collaboration with CDC, with the aim of improving monitoring, evaluation and intervention based on identified needs and priorities.

48. Health infrastructure. UNRWA’s primary health care services were provided through a network of 123 facilities located in and outside refugee camps. With special funding received mainly under project funds, UNRWA continued to rehabilitate or replace health facilities that had deteriorated beyond the point of economical repair, owing to lack of funds for preventive maintenance. The Agency sought additional contributions to cover the cost of replacing several health facilities in unsatisfactory premises and to rehabilitate others. Construction, upgrading and equipping primary health care facilities helped to improve service standards and patient flow, with marked impact on the quality of care, partially offsetting the negative effects of funding shortfalls under the regular budget. During the reporting period, works were completed or under way for the construction or expansion of nine primary health care facilities throughout the Agency’s area of operations, and a new town clinic was established in Gaza City.

49. Environmental health. Approximately 1.2 million Palestine refugees in 59 official camps in the five fields of operation, representing 32 per cent of the total registered population, benefited from environmental health services provided by UNRWA in cooperation with local municipalities. Services included sewage disposal, the management of storm water run-off, the provision of safe drinking water, the collection and disposal of refuse, and the control of insect and rodent infestation. The Agency continued to play an active role, particularly in the Gaza Strip, in the planning and implementation of large-scale projects for the construction of sewerage, drainage and water networks in camps and in the expansion of its solid waste collection and disposal capacity. Since the establishment of its special environmental health programme in Gaza in 1993, the Agency had carried out detailed feasibility studies for sewerage, storm-water drainage and solid waste management at a total cost of $1.64 million, and had implemented projects costing over $19.29 million. Projects and studies, ongoing during the reporting period, amounted to $3.5 million. Projects proposed for implementation, subject to additional contributions, were in the magnitude of $12.9 million. In Lebanon, where feasibility studies and detailed designs were completed for the rehabilitation and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure in camps, the Agency could not begin construction, pending final review of tender documents by the European Commission. Capital projects were complemented by self-help camp improvement activities, such as paving pathways, to which the Agency contributed construction material and the community provided volunteer labour.

50. Budgetary and human resources. The proposed health budget for the biennium 2000-2001 was established at $107.7 million under the regular programme, representing 17.6 per cent of the Agency’s total operating budget. The proposed budget for developmental projects was $29.3 million. Owing to funding constraints, average health expenditure per refugee during the reporting period was maintained at $13.50 per year, a fraction of the current level of expenditure by other health care providers in the Agency’s area of operations. The largest share of the health budget, approximately 70 per cent, was allocated to medical care services comprising treatment and support services, family health, disease prevention and control activities, dental care, laboratory services, physical rehabilitation and hospitalization. The remaining budget was allocated for sustaining basic sanitation services in camps and supplementary feeding to vulnerable groups. Within the medical care services budget, the largest share, approximately 76 per cent, was allocated to maintaining primary health care, with the remaining 24 per cent allocated to sustaining essential hospital services. There were, however, significant variations in patterns of expenditure from one field to another, owing to local circumstances, including ease of access to Agency and/or public health services. Approximately 63 per cent of cash allocations to the health programme were devoted to the costs of 3,500 locally recruited health staff Agency-wide, who implemented all core programme activities. As a result of a recruitment freeze, the numbers of available staff continued to fall below those required to meet increasing needs, so that workloads in Agency primary health care facilities remained heavy. In order to ameliorate the adverse effects of such workloads on the quality of care, standard management protocols were developed, staff were trained to defined competency levels, and an appointment system was implemented in mother and child health care clinics, special care for non-communicable diseases, specialist care services, and for laboratory and dental services. This approach markedly improved patient flow, reduced clients’ waiting time and increased staff/client contact time.

51. Programme management. The Agency’s strategic approach to improved management of the health programme continued to focus on enhancing institutional capacity-building in order to improve performance and make optimal use of scarce human and financial resources, achieving cost-efficiency gains by the use of appropriate technology to reduce recurrent costs, and reinforcing health services research as a means to assess the appropriateness, relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the basic programme components. During the reporting period, several research projects were carried out to assess the quality of care based on measurable indicators and to assess the cost benefit of various services. These research initiatives comprised studies to assess the quality of maternal health care, hospital services, laboratory workloads and productivity targets, progress in implementation of the directly observed short course strategy for treatment of tuberculosis and the current prescribing practices of antibacterial drugs and the prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia among women of reproductive age and children below three years of age. The results of these studies were widely used for reorientation of intervention strategies and the development of appropriate training programmes to address identified needs and priorities. In addition, the rapid assessment technique was used to assess certain aspects of health status, such as the prevalence of high- risk pregnancies or to measure service coverage - for example, the Agency’s expanded programme on immunization. The Agency also developed manuals on establishing standards for the provision of maternal health care and on counselling on contraceptive technology, in collaboration with CDC and Kingston University, United Kingdom; a manual on basic laboratory techniques; a manual on biosafety in laboratory services. It revised its drug formulary, consistent with the WHO list of essential drugs. The manuals could be easily adapted and adopted by other public health care providers in the region.

52. Cooperation with host authorities. In the framework of the Agency’s commitment to building, within available means, a sustainable health care system in the Palestinian self-rule areas, UNRWA continued to cooperate closely with the Palestinian Authority in the health sector and to provide assistance to enhance health infrastructure. That cooperation included implementation of a maternal health and family planning project in Gaza; a joint training programme in epidemiology and reproductive health; and harmonization of the immunization schedule with that of the Palestinian Authority. A close dialogue was maintained between UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority and the European Community to reach a common understanding on the commissioning and future operation of the European Gaza Hospital (see para. 207). The Agency cooperated with the Palestinian Authority and donors on construction of a public health laboratory in the West Bank (see para. 190); the upgrading of UNRWA’s Qalqiliya Hospital in the West Bank (see para. 191); and improvements to environmental health infrastructure in the Gaza Strip (see para. 208 below). Senior UNRWA health staff participated in all Palestinian Authority technical committees on practical aspects of health policy and in all health-related meetings, conferences and studies organized by the Palestinian Authority in cooperation with WHO, UNICEF and donors. The Agency also maintained close cooperation with health ministries in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, including through the exchange of information, coordination of disease control measures, and participation in national conferences and immunization campaigns. The Governments of Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic provided the Agency’s annual requirements of hepatitis B vaccine. UNRWA projects for the improvement of sewerage, drainage and water supply systems in camps were carried out in coordination with local authorities and were complemented by government-sponsored projects to improve environmental health infrastructure in camps or to connect camps to municipal or area networks, particularly in Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

53. Cooperation with WHO and other United Nations agencies. Technical supervision of UNRWA’s health care programme continued to be provided by WHO through the provision of senior programme staff and sustained technical support. Under long-standing arrangements, WHO (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office) provided UNRWA, on a non-reimbursable loan basis, with the services of the Agency’s Director of Health, covered the cost of the three local posts of headquarters division chiefs, and provided the Agency with technical literature and scientific publications. UNRWA participated in WHO international and interregional meetings and observed all international health days. In the framework of long-standing cooperation with UNICEF, the latter provided in-kind donation of the Agency’s requirements of vaccines against the six childhood diseases — namely, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and tuberculosis. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, those donations were channelled through the Palestinian Authority. In addition, UNICEF supported a programme for de-worming school children in Jordan and provided equipment for screening hearing impairments in Jordan and the West Bank.


C. Relief and social services


54. Objectives. The mission of the Relief and Social Services Programme is to support those Palestine refugees who suffer the greatest socio-economic disadvantage and to facilitate their self-reliance. The programme is also responsible for the maintenance of accurate records on Palestine refugees, in order to determine eligibility for all Agency services.

55. Refugee registration. There were 3.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA on 30 June 2000, an increase of 3.1 per cent over the 30 June 1999 figure of 3.6 million (see annex I, table 1). As in the previous reporting period, the rate of increase reflected the rate of natural population growth, with most requests for updating of records representing new births, marriages and deaths. The largest proportion of refugees was registered in Jordan (42 per cent of the Agency-wide total), followed by the Gaza Strip (22 per cent), the West Bank (15.6 per cent), the Syrian Arab Republic (10.3 per cent), and Lebanon (10.1 per cent). Of the registered population, 36.5 per cent were aged 15 or under, 54 per cent were between 16 and 59 years of age, and 9.5 per cent were aged 60 or older. About one third of the total registered refugee population lived in the 59 refugee camps in the areas of operation, the remainder resided in towns and villages (see annex I, table 2). During the period under review, the Agency witnessed an increase in the number of refugees updating their registration records with UNRWA, particularly in Jordan. As a result, a working group of senior managers from the fields and headquarters was formed to update the guidelines for registering Palestine refugees. The Agency continued to consolidate all the data pertaining to registered refugees in the family files (which form the historical archives of the registered refugees over the 50 years of UNRWA operations) through the amalgamation of “ex-codes” (previous registration numbers) within the family files. At the end of the reporting period 250,013 index cards were amalgamated within the respective 337,116 files.

56. Unified registration system. Further progress was made on the unified registration system (URS), which aimed to integrate two existing computerized databases - namely, the registration database and the socio-economic database - with the family files archive. Contacts continued with outside parties, and a related study was undertaken by external archival experts to computerize the family files paper archives and integrate them with the existing computerized components of the URS. Project implementation was to begin once extrabudgetary contributions were received. Extensive work on a redesign of the outdated field registration system was carried out, and a detailed study of user requirements, together with a comprehensive project proposal, was coordinated with external consultants. Subject to the availability of funds, the development and implementation of a new field registration system, which would be open for future linkages to other UNRWA databases, was to commence during the next reporting period. The field social study system, which was completely decentralized to all fields and areas during the reporting period, is now fully operational, and a number of amendments aimed at further improving the system were implemented. The URS Unit at headquarters (Amman) continued its field support activities through visits and workshops. To improve local programme support further, the post of Field Unified Registration System Administrator was established in all fields. The Unit and the Social Services Office began the development of a non-governmental organization information system aimed at supporting programme-related networking and fund-raising efforts in the fields.

57. Special hardship programme. UNRWA continued to assist refugee families who were unable to meet basic needs for food, shelter and other essentials. The principal means of assistance to special hardship case (SHC) families were food support, shelter rehabilitation, selective cash assistance, hospitalization subsidies and preferential access to UNRWA training centres. The number of refugees in households which met the stringent eligibility criteria - no male adult medically fit to earn an income and no other identifiable means of financial support above a defined threshold - increased by 3.5 per cent, from 200,078 at 30 June 1999 to 207,150 at 30 June 2000 (see annex I, table 3). The proportion of special hardship cases within the total registered refugee population increased slightly, from 5.52 per cent to 5.54 per cent. The percentage of refugees enrolled in the programme continued to be highest in Lebanon (10.8 per cent) and the Gaza Strip (8.6 per cent) and lowest in Jordan (2.6 per cent). An internal working group was formed to review and improve the eligibility criteria of the special hardship programme; the group has proposed several improvements in the criteria and procedures and management of the programme.

58. Food support. Each SHC beneficiary was entitled to receive five basic food commodities on a quarterly basis (flour, rice, sugar, milk and oil), and a cash subsidy equivalent to $40 per person per year. In Lebanon lentils are also provided. Delays in receiving the cash and some food items during the reporting period necessitated an adjustment in the food support schedule and caused a disruption in assistance to the refugees. The food support provided by UNRWA to 53,589 SHC families served as a crucial safety net in a region with high rates of unemployment and frequent fluctuations in the prices of commodities in local markets.

59. Selective cash assistance. The regular budget allocation for selective cash assistance, which was frozen in August 1997, was partially reinstated in January 2000. Between January and June 2000, small grants of an average of $140 were provided on a case-by-case basis to 1,766 SHC families facing emergency situations, such as the loss of goods or income due to fire, flooding, death or incapacity of heads of households or primary income earners. It was estimated that some 10,717 SHC families, representing 20 per cent of the Agency-wide total, were in need of selective cash assistance. The modest allocation of $500,000 for this purpose would only enable the Agency to respond to acute crises in the refugee community.

60. Shelter rehabilitation. With earmarked project funding, UNRWA rehabilitated a total of 217 shelters of SHC families, as compared to 1,305 in the previous reporting period. Shelter rehabilitation was carried out either on a self-help basis, with the Agency providing financial and technical assistance and beneficiary families arranging volunteer labour, or by camp-based small contractors, with the aim of creating employment within the refugee community. Available resources continued to fall far short of identified needs. It was estimated that some 13,397 SHC families, representing 25 per cent of the Agency-wide total and comprising 51,787 persons, still lived in housing that did not meet minimally acceptable standards for structural soundness, hygiene, ventilation or space relative to family size. As at 30 June 2000 an estimated $12,526,400 was needed to repair or reconstruct the 2,298 shelters already identified as requiring immediate intervention.

61. Poverty alleviation programme. This programme continued its focus on addressing poverty at the micro level through skills training (1,209 apprenticeships), lectures at community centres on the causes of poverty, “Start Your Own Business” training, and/or provision of credit. While the latter often benefited clients within SHC families, it also included loans to other individuals and groups, through group guaranteed lending schemes. Most loans were for between $500 and $10,000. As a result of an external consultancy and a separate internal evaluation of the programme, a restructuring was undertaken which included revision of procedures and systems, interest rates, banking agreements, credit repayment conditions and staffing. It was hoped that the restructuring would lead to further progress towards the self-sustainability of credit operations and greater efficiency. Due to the Agency’s lack of resources, funds were not available to employ a credit specialist at headquarters (Amman) to provide overall policy and technical assistance to the field programmes, severely hampering the development of the poverty alleviation programme. In spite of this, however, 118 families were removed from the Agency’s SHC rolls due to successful microenterprise development, 647 groups were benefiting from the group guaranteed lending approach to credit, and 1,209 individuals benefited from apprenticeships or specialized training in marketable skills. A total of 2,074 participants benefited from the poverty alleviation programme during the reporting period.

62. Social development programmes. The number of community-based organizations (CBOs) or Agency-sponsored centres within the camps increased from 131 at mid-1999 to 133 by mid-2000, with a total of 71 women’s programme centres, 27 youth activity centres, and 35 community rehabilitation centres for the physically and mentally challenged. Community-based organizations continued to play an important role in the refugee communities they served. Largely community-managed and with a large voluntary constituency both in their administration and programme implementation, they offered a diverse range of social development activities, including skills-training opportunities for women and disabled persons; projects and training on income-generation enterprises; awareness-raising lectures and campaigns on topics of community concern; support services for women (e.g., kindergartens, counselling and legal advice) and social, cultural and recreational activities. The community rehabilitation centres focused on rehabilitation and the social integration of refugees with disabilities through a community-based rehabilitation approach, with support services including home-based outreach, training for family members and rehabilitation workers, diagnostic units, maintenance of prosthetic devices, and referral to specialized institutions where necessary. The CBOs continued to promote active participation and self-help to ensure the responsiveness of programmes to changing local needs. Traditional skills-training courses such as sewing and flower-arranging were joined by a wider range of innovative and more marketable courses, including computer training, curtain-making, photography, English language, and car driving theory lessons. The Agency was reviewing course curricula and certificates awarded to graduates in order to ensure that they facilitated trainee employment. The range of awareness-raising campaigns organized by centres on social, health, gender, disability, and legal issues were meant to have both a short-term and long-term developmental impact on the surrounding communities at large. Topics ranged from violence against women, child abuse, drug prevention, conflict resolution, civic rights and democratic practices to disability detection and prevention, early and inter-family marriage, first aid, and food conservation. Participation of refugees was high both as beneficiaries of programmes (64,576 as at 30 June 2000) and as volunteers organizing the activities. Special events were scheduled during the first half of 2000 to commemorate UNRWA’s fiftieth anniversary. Where possible, kindergartens and play centres were being established or expanded to accommodate the child-care needs of women who would otherwise be incapable of fully participating in and benefiting from the activities and courses. Group guaranteed lending schemes for women and similar income-generating opportunities were expanded to benefit more refugees. Jordan’s two pioneering legal-advice bureaus continued to offer counselling and legal services to women in need as they established stronger networks with rights-based non-governmental organizations.

63. Progress towards self-sustainability. UNRWA’s role in the implementation of social services programmes continued to evolve from that of “service provider” to that of “facilitator”, with emphasis on a community development approach that promoted participation, empowerment, self-reliance, organizational network-building, revenue generation, and competence in project planning, implementation and management skills. In accordance with the Relief and Social Service (RSS) Department’s five-year plan (1995-1999), the Agency pursued its commitment to strengthening the organizational capacities of community-based organizations (CBOs) to enable them to manage and sustain their programmes autonomously, so as eventually to achieve full managerial and financial self-sustainability. To that end, RSS staff continued to provide a considerable amount of support to CBOs and their local managing committees throughout the reporting period. The support comprised technical assistance in programme planning, implementation and evaluation; training inputs to committee members on management skills; assistance in networking to raise funds and/or forge partnerships with external resources (such as local and international non-governmental organizations, etc.); and partial subsidies to cover the running costs of the centres until financial independence was achieved. The development and expansion of revenue-generating skills-training courses and services at CBOs continued, and the establishment of viable income-generation projects was encouraged and supported. As at mid-2000, of the 133 CBOs, 70 had achieved full financial sustainability, with 63 still partially dependent on external sources. A comprehensive human-resource development plan was formulated at headquarters (Amman) to upgrade the skills of key RSS staff (such as the new community development social workers) to support CBO committees. Forty-one CBOs registered themselves as independent legal entities, notably in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This appeared to have greatly enhanced the morale and confidence of the CBO leaders in their ability to achieve sustainability. Overall, the CBOs were able to generate a considerable amount of new value for their communities, aside from the services they offer. The estimated value of the volunteer labour, grants and in-kind contributions which the CBOs generated during the reporting period amounted to $1,475,516. Finally, as the five-year plan came to an end, an assessment tool was developed by headquarters to evaluate what had been achieved during the period, to gauge current levels of CBO sustainability and to plan what further action needed to be taken to achieve remaining goals.

64. Programme budget and administration. The proposed 2000-2001 budget of the relief and social services programme was $62.4 million for regular programmes, representing just over 10 per cent of the Agency’s total regular budget. Proposed project expenditure for 2000-2001 was $24.4 million. The largest share of the budget, $25.7 million in 2000, was allocated to assisting the poorest segment of the refugee population, the special hardship case families. Administration of this assistance was carried out by 225 social workers, representing the single largest percentage of RSS staff. The programme was negatively affected by limits on recruitment, which increased the workloads of existing staff. For example, the average caseload of social workers, at about 300 cases per year, was in excess of the recommended average of 250 cases per year. A total of 62 out of 526 relief and social services posts (about 12 per cent) were vacant during the reporting period.

65. Cooperation with host authorities and non-governmental organizations. UNRWA’s social development programmes were carried out in close cooperation with the host authorities, the non-governmental sector and United Nations agencies. Cooperation with local and international non-governmental organizations was intensified, and while coordination with existing partners was strengthened, potential new partners sharing the Agency’s objectives of ameliorating the quality of life of refugees, empowering marginalized groups (women, youth, children, disabled persons), and promoting community development were identified. Professional training opportunities offered by non-governmental organizations and United Nations organizations in areas such as institution-building, project evaluation and implementation, and gender issues were also used to benefit both RSS staff and local committee members of CBOs. Efforts focused simultaneously on maximizing partnerships with non-governmental organizations and, where beneficial, integrating CBOs within existing networks of non-governmental organizations and/or governmental service providers. Newly established unions or forums of CBOs working with networks of non-governmental organizations helped bolster coordination among members and promotion of joint projects. There was a noticeable increase of international non-governmental organization support to RSS work in the Syrian Arab Republic relative to previous years, whereby considerable assistance was provided to the community rehabilitation/disability programme through new specialized training, stimulation of awareness-raising in the community, and the construction or renovation of rehabilitation centres. Coordination and cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and other local and international non-governmental organizations continued to be particularly close in the West Bank and Gaza. Joint activities included a range of cultural and social activities at women’s centres, enhancement of community-based rehabilitation services, referral of physically challenged persons to appropriate medical and rehabilitation services, specialized training, summer camps bringing together disabled persons and able-bodied youth, and other recreational activities. To support fields in their networking initiatives, headquarters was in the final stages of designing a computerized non-governmental organization database, which would consolidate basic information on relevant organizations, training resources, and institutions facilitating social development within the refugee community. This would ultimately assist fields in maximizing benefits from existing partnerships with non-UNRWA sectors and in identifying new potential partners operating in UNRWA’s five fields of operation and in the region as a whole.

66. Y2K. Extensive work was undertaken by the URS Unit, in coordination with the Information Systems Office and the fields to prepare all URS-related software for the Y2K transition. Thanks to these joint efforts, no problems were encountered during the date change. Special back-up measures were taken at the end of 1999 to guard against any Y2K-related problems. The system made a smooth transition into the year 2000.

67. Relief supplies for emergency assistance. In September 1999, the Lebanese authorities demolished the shelters of 30 displaced families in Sikkeh near Ein el-Hilweh camp in Saida area. UNRWA issued emergency relief supplies to the evicted, homeless families, including blankets, mattresses, kitchen kits and food aid. To relieve some of their hardship and enable them to find temporary lodging, UNRWA disbursed one-time emergency cash assistance to the families.


D. Income generation


68. Objectives. UNRWA’s income-generation programme continued to support small-scale and microenterprises within the refugee community by providing capital investment and working capital loans through its field-based revolving capital funds, and by providing technical assistance to small business owners. The programme continued to create employment, generate income, reduce poverty and empower refugees. The capacity of the programme and its outreach increased considerably, compared with the previous reporting period. During the current reporting period the programme provided 10,875 loans worth $13.2 million to Palestinian-owned enterprises. Women microentrepreneurs remained a particular target for the Agency’s credit activities and loans to women. Since the programme began, a total of 32,568 loans have been provided in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Gaza field


69. During the reporting period the Agency’s microfinance programme in the Gaza Strip won the 1999 International Prize for “Pioneering Development Projects” awarded by the Riyadh-based Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND) in the field of poverty eradication and alleviation. This prestigious award acknowledged the developmental capacity of the Agency to provide business-based income-generation services to the Palestine refugee community. UNRWA’s income-generation activities continued to be concentrated in the Gaza Strip, although the programme in the West Bank was rapidly reducing the outreach gap between the two programmes. In Gaza the income-generation programme is managed from a central office in Gaza City and a branch office in Khan Younis. The programme was one of only a handful of credit programmes in the Middle East and North Africa to achieve operational self-sufficiency. In 1999, the programme funded its overhead and investment costs of $1.18 million from programme revenues of $1.63 million. The overall socio-economic situation improved during the reporting period since the reduction in border closures had a positive influence, leading to increased trade and labour flows. Real gross domestic product and gross national product in the West Bank and Gaza grew by 6.0 and 7.0 per cent, respectively, 2/ and raised income levels for the second time since 1994. This improved economic performance was accompanied by a decline in the adjusted unemployment rate, from 25 to 22 per cent, although the rate in Gaza remains higher, at 27.3 per cent. Moreover, employment opportunities and income distribution were spread unevenly with 46 per cent of refugee camp residents finding continuous employment for less than a six-month period. In addition, 33 per cent of the population of Gaza lived below the poverty line, with residents of refugee camps poorer than the rest of the population. To alleviate those conditions, the programme targeted the formal business enterprises that had the capacity to create jobs for the unemployed and the informal and microenterprises that could generate income for poor families. Credit was provided to those enterprises through simple collateral and guarantee mechanisms, including business plan-based lending and individual, group and cheque-guarantee methods. Although no additional capital funds were received during the reporting period, the number of loans disbursed increased from 7,014, valued at $8.33 million during the previous reporting period, to 8,135, valued at $10.20 million during the current period.

70. Microenterprise credit programme. The Gaza income-generation programme was composed of four subprogrammes. Three provided credit to various target groups, and the fourth provided business training services. The microenterprise credit (MEC) subprogramme, the largest of the four subprogrammes, targeted working capital loans to the more than 20,000 microenterprises operating in the Gaza Strip. In Gaza’s economy, microentrepreneurs — including those from the informal sector — primarily produced or provided services for the local market, where the value-added to products and services was usually low. The owners of microenterprises usually had low incomes, while the workers in the enterprises were most often poor. Despite forming the largest economic grouping in the Palestinian economy, most microenterprises were unable to obtain credit from the banking sector, since they could not meet the collateral or security guarantees required by banks. To fill this gap the MEC programme provided working capital loans on an individual basis through a graduated lending methodology by which borrowers could get repeat loans to meet their business development needs. The MEC programme remained the fastest growing subprogramme in Gaza. During the reporting period, the programme provided 4,731 loans valued at $5.41 million and maintained an annual repayment rate of 95 per cent. Since its inception, the programme had provided 13,443 loans valued at $14.48 million to 6,076 individuals. The owners of the microenterprises supported 36,456 dependants from the income generated, meaning that MEC lending provided socio-economic support to 3.65 per cent of the population of Gaza.

71. The solidarity group lending (SGL) subprogramme also provided short-term working capital loans, but they were targeted at women working in microenterprises or women microenterprise owners who were considered the poorest of the enterprising poor. Almost the entire SGL operational-level management and credit extension staff were composed of women. The SGL subprogramme provided working capital loans through a group guarantee system and a graduated lending methodology. Women gained access to credit by forming solidarity groups and guaranteeing each other’s loans. Groups could get new loans only if all the members made their payments on a timely basis. Upon prompt repayment, each group member was entitled to a larger loan, if that was necessary to meet her business needs. This subprogramme remained one of the most successful for women in the Middle East, maintaining an annual repayment rate of 97.36 per cent. It was fully self-sufficient, with staff and overhead costs met from the interest income from 3,247 loans valued at $2.8 million each year. By the end of June 2000 it had provided 13,999 loans in total valued at $10.26 million. The loans were provided to 4,977 women who supported 29,862 dependants. In other words, they provided socio-economic support to 3 per cent of the population of Gaza.

72. The small-scale enterprise (SSE) subprogramme, the oldest of the Agency’s credit schemes, provided both working capital and capital investment loans to new and established businesses in the industry and service sectors to promote job creation, exports and import substitution. Loans in the SSE programme were larger than those in the MEC and SGL programmes and focused on broader developmental goals. Loans ranged from $3,000 to $70,000 and had average terms of 28 months, with a two-month grace period. During the reporting period, the SSE programme provided $2 million in loans to 157 enterprises, helping to create and maintain 350 jobs. With a capital base of $7.93 million, the programme disbursed a total of 810 loans valued at $12.58 million and sustained a recovery rate of 95.16 per cent.

73. The small and microenterprise training (SMET) subprogramme provided non-financial services to the business community and contributed to employment generation and socio-economic development by supporting small business development and encouraging entrepreneurship through business training. This subprogramme was the smallest in the Gaza field’s income-generation programme, but it faced an unpredictable future due to a lack of donor funding. Despite this, it was the only business-training programme regularly delivering a standard range of courses designed to meet the needs of small business owners. The subprogramme developed Arabic curricula for 30 short-term business training courses delivered by a pool of 25 local trainers who conducted courses on a part-time contract basis. Although it was exclusively supported by donor funds, during the reporting period it became highly cost effective, for it raised almost 100 per cent of the direct costs of running each training course through participation fees. During the reporting period, it offered 40 training courses with 810 participants.


West Bank field


74. The MEC subprogramme in the West Bank was the fastest growing of the Agency’s credit subprogrammes. The financial and information systems, accounts and administration were managed from a regional office in Jerusalem, while the credit operations and outreach were managed from a branch office in Nablus. During the reporting period two sub-branch offices were opened in Jenin and Tulkarm as satellites of the Nablus branch. In the first phase of introducing the subprogramme to the West Bank, outreach was initially restricted to the northern West Bank so to enable the subprogramme to target poorer communities, where up to 28 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line. During the third quarter of 2000 the subprogramme was due to open a third sub-branch in Qalqiliya and two new branch offices in Hebron and Bethlehem. With the operation of these six branch and sub-branch offices the subprogramme would provide financial intermediation to the poorest regions of the West Bank. By the end of the reporting period it had provided 4,118 loans valued at $4.16 million and sustained an annual repayment rate of 95 per cent. In addition to the MEC subprogramme, the West Bank field also operated the same type of small-scale enterprise subprogramme as Gaza, which provided 225 loans valued at $2.83 million.


E. Peace Implementation Programme


75. Objectives. From October 1993 until December 1999, UNRWA’s Peace Implementation Programme (PIP), which was launched following the signing between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, was the foremost channel for extrabudgetary project funding for activities carried out within the framework of Agency programmes in education, health, and relief and social services, and income-generation. Funding made available for PIP during the more than six years of the Programme contributed in a very practical and tangible way to the improvement of the refugees’ overall living conditions and to creating employment opportunities and developing infrastructure. Following the adoption of the 2000-2001 programme-based biennium budget, which divided the Agency’s budget into regular budget and projects budget sections, all new non-core contributions were credited to the projects budget. A new “Projects 2000-2001” programme was introduced in January 2000 to track all contributions to the biennium projects budget.

76. Implementation. During the reporting period, PIP funds enabled UNRWA to complete the construction of 12 schools, 32 additional classrooms, one vocational education room, two water reservoirs and eight latrine units, a polyclinic, and a health centre and the upgrading of a second, the expansion of a mother and child health centre, the establishment of a community rehabilitation centre, and a youth activities centre. PIP made it possible to complete the rehabilitation of 154 shelters of special hardship case families Agency-wide, while 141 were still undergoing reconstruction or repairs. Several elements of the environmental health scheme in the Gaza Strip were completed (such as the construction of a main sewer line to the pumping station and a pressure main), while some other components were still ongoing. Also completed in the environmental health sector was a feasibility study for storm-water drainage and a second on sewage and drainage works in several camps in the West Bank, the construction of a sewer conveyor line in Khan Danoun in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the construction and maintenance of pathways and drains. Camp infrastructure projects ongoing at mid-2000 included the construction of a public health laboratory in the West Bank; the construction of several schools and numerous additional classrooms Agency-wide; a women’s programme centre and two community rehabilitation centres; a major sewerage and drainage project for eight refugee camps in Lebanon, and a shore protection project in the Gaza Strip. Feasibility studies were under way in the Syrian Arab Republic for the improvement of the water supply in the Khan Danoun and Khan Eshieh camps and construction of a sewerage system in Khan Eshieh camp. A feasibility study was also under way for the replacement of barracks at Neirab camp. Other PIP-funded activities included a slow learners’ programme in Jordan; the integration of visually impaired children into the regular school system; care for the destitute aged; English courses at a vocational training centre and the repatriation of residents from Canada camp in Egypt to Rafah inside the Gaza Strip. PIP also helped to sustain regular Agency programmes through the continued funding of the running costs of two health centres in Gaza, the cost of university scholarships for refugee students, and the procurement of medical supplies. Further funding went into the upgrading of facilities and courses at several of the Agency’s vocational training centres. Cash expenditure under PIP amounted to $25.8 million during the reporting period, not including expenditures on the European Gaza Hospital.

77. Status of funding. UNRWA received $8.1 million in pledges and contributions for PIP projects during the reporting period, raising the total amount of funding received over the life of the programme from $221.3 million at 30 June 1999 to a closing amount of $229.4 million at 31 December 1999. (After required adjustments of $1.4 million due to exchange-rate fluctuations and written-off pledge balances, the net amount was $228.0 million.) Of the new PIP funding, $5.8 million went to projects in the education sector, while $0.9 million was allocated for the health sector and $1.4 million for the relief and social services sector. No funding was received for income-generation activities. Projects in the Gaza Strip received $2.6 million of the new funding, or around 32 per cent, while $3 million (around 37 per cent) was allocated to projects in the West Bank. Projects in Lebanon received $0.3 million and the Syrian Arab Republic $0.4 million, while new funding for Jordan amounted to $0.2 million. Agency-wide activities received $1.6 million. With the new financial support for PIP, 24 new projects received funding, bringing the total number of projects funded by PIP since its inception to 371 by its close at 31 December 1999.


F. Projects


78. Objectives. In recognition of the fact that projects funding has taken on an increasing importance over the years and in order to establish a more targeted fund-raising approach, UNRWA established Agency-wide project priorities that form the basis for the projects section of the 2000-2001 biennium budget. The aim of including the projects budget in the biennium budget was to provide a complete picture of the financial requirements of the Agency and to link the projects-funded activities directly to programme activities funded under the regular budget. Unless project needs were covered, the Agency would not be able to attain its goals and objectives for the biennium and the quality and level of services could suffer. The 2000-2001 projects budget comprised mainly non-recurrent infrastructure costs. The continuing increase in the number of registered Palestine refugees required the expansion, replacement and maintenance of UNRWA facilities in order to meet the increasing demands for Agency services (particularly in education) and the improvement of housing and environmental health conditions in refugee camps.

79. Implementation. With funding received during the reporting period, the Agency started the following infrastructure projects: the construction and equipping of five Agency schools in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon; the construction of 21 additional classrooms and six specialized rooms at Agency schools in Gaza and the West Bank; the construction and equipping of five health centres in the West Bank, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic; and the reconstruction of shelters for special hardship families in the Gaza Strip. In the environmental health sector, project funding enabled the continuation of work on the Deir el-Balah sewage and drainage scheme and for the implementation of a solid waste project in the refugee camps of the Gaza Strip. Project funding also made possible the establishment of three speech therapy units in the West Bank and a learning resource centre in the Syrian Arab Republic, the introduction of French- teacher training in Lebanon and provision of English textbooks in the Syrian Arab Republic.

80. Status of funding. After the introduction of the 2000-2001 projects budget, UNRWA received some $10 million in pledges and contributions for Agency priority projects, against requirements of $59.3 million for the year 2000. The education programme received $5.7 million of the newly received support while the health programme was allocated $2.7 million, and relief and social services $1.6 million. Projects in the Gaza field received the largest share of the new funding, with $5 million (50 per cent), while $3.7 million (37 per cent) was allocated to the West Bank. Jordan received $0.2 million, the Syrian Arab Republic $0.2 million, and Lebanon $0.9 million. Contributions received under the 2000-2001 biennium were sufficient to allocate funding for 22 projects as at 30 June 2000. The amount of new funding received during the reporting period for both PIP and the 2000-2001 projects - a total of $18.1 million - represented an increase of some $10.3 million, or more than 130 per cent, compared to the previous reporting period, when the Agency had received a total of $7.8 million for PIP. This increase reversed the trend of declining PIP contributions which the Agency had observed in previous years and raised contributions to approximately two thirds of the 1996/1997 funding levels. However, funding would need to increase further if the Agency were to meet its objective of raising the full amounts of $59.3 million and $65 million budgeted for 2000 and 2001, respectively.


G. Lebanon Appeal


81. Objectives. There was again no noticeable improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the Palestine refugee community in Lebanon during the reporting period (see chap. VI). The continuously weak socio-economic situation of the country as a whole, combined with the inability of the refugees to gain full access to the job market or to benefit from public health services, resulted in growing desperation and misery. Most of the over 370,000 registered Palestine refugees in Lebanon continued to face deplorable living conditions and depended almost entirely on UNRWA for basic services. The Agency’s special emergency appeal for Lebanon, launched in July 1997, sought to solicit additional contributions in the amount of $11 million to support essential health, education, and relief and social services activities in order to alleviate financial pressures resulting from insufficient resources in the Agency’s regular budget.

82. Implementation. During the reporting period, UNRWA completed construction of a secondary school and a computer laboratory and the procurement of textbooks required under the new curriculum. The Agency was also able to cover the purchase of medical services at Palestine Red Crescent Society hospitals for 1,223 patients for 3,665 hospital days. Construction of shelters and the reconstruction of a health centre, and several projects at the Siblin training centre - the introduction of new computer courses, the upgrading of equipment and the introduction of short-term vocational training courses - continued. Although most of the required equipment for the mechanization of a solid-waste collection and disposal system had been procured, the remaining equipment and funds to cover the costs of operating the new equipment were being awaited.

83. Status of funding. The Appeal received positive responses from eight countries and one intergovernmental organization, which pledged a total of $9.3 million by 30 June 1998. By the end of June 2000, the Agency had received $9.2 million of that amount and had expended $8.8 million. Cash expenditure during the reporting period amounted to $2.4 million. Of the total pledges, $4.6 million, or 48 per cent, was dedicated to the health sector, including hospitalization assistance, procurement of medical supplies, construction of a health centre, and equipment for solid-waste collection and disposal. An amount of $3.8 million was pledged for projects in the education sector, including construction, equipment and running costs for two secondary schools and the introduction of new training courses at Siblin training centre; and $0.9 million was dedicated for shelter rehabilitation. An additional $0.1 million in interest earned on an Appeal contribution was credited to the Appeal and used in the education sector for the procurement of textbooks required for the new curriculum. The outstanding amount was for a shelter rehabilitation project and was expected to be collected prior to the end of 2000.

Chapter III

Financial matters


A. Fund structure


84. During the period 1 July 1999-30 June 2000, UNRWA received contributions and incurred expenditure against the following headings:
85. The regular budget covered all recurrent costs incurred in UNRWA’s programmes of education, health, and relief and social services, and all support functions.

86. PIP covered project activities funded under UNRWA’s ongoing initiative since 1993 to improve infrastructure and enhance living conditions in refugee communities Agency-wide.

87. The Lebanon Appeal covered urgent operational needs funded in response to UNRWA’s July 1997 appeal for increased assistance in 1997-1998 to help alleviate the deplorable socio-economic conditions facing Palestine refugees in Lebanon.


B. Budget, income and expenditure


88. Certain organizational characteristics of UNRWA were particularly relevant to its financial situation, such as the Agency’s role as a direct provider of services to the Palestine refugee population through its own installations and staff; the public-sector quality of UNRWA services, including availability to all those meeting the Agency’s operational definition of a Palestine refugee; the steady growth in the number of beneficiaries over time, owing to natural growth in the refugee population; the Agency’s lack of access to revenue sources available to public sectors proper, such as taxation or borrowing, and the absence of a system of assessed contributions and the concomitant reliance of the Agency on voluntary contributions for income.

89. Budget preparation. UNRWA prepares its budget on a biennial basis, although operations are financed on an annual basis. The budget for the biennium 2000-2001 featured a new programme-based format. In essence, it was structured around programme expenditures and not around line expenditures as had been the case in the past. The new format had the following characteristics: it was derived from a programme of work specifying goals, objectives, activities, strategies and targets at the programme and subprogramme level; it provided programme-based justification for the Agency’s financial resource requirements; it aimed to show the full cost of implementing programme activities, including all the different types of resources required; it reflected the totality of the Agency’s financial requirements, including the entire regular budget and projects, which had come to represent an increasingly large share of the Agency’s income and expenditure in recent years. In order to monitor implementation, the periodic budget performance review was enhanced to include reporting by programme managers about progress in achieving the budgeted goals and programme objectives.

90. Regular budget. The total volume of UNRWA’s 1999 regular budget was $352.8 million, of which $322.1 million represented the cash portion and $30.7 million the in-kind portion, mainly donations for the special hardship cases and the nutrition and supplementary feeding programmes. The total volume of the 2000 regular budget was $300.9 million, of which $280.4 million represented the cash portion and $20.5 million the in-kind portion (see annex I, table 9).

91. Projects budget. The Agency’s projects budget for 2000 was $59.3 million.

92. Income and sources of funding. UNRWA’s cash and in-kind income in 1999 amounted to $309.0 million, of which $288.0 million was for the regular budget and $21.0 million for projects. Voluntary contributions from Governments and the European Community accounted for $292.1 million of total income, or 94.5 per cent (see annex I, table 10). Most of that income was received in cash, although $26.3 million was received in kind, mainly as donations of food commodities. Other United Nations bodies provided $13.0 million (4 per cent of total income) to cover staffing costs, including funding of 92 international posts by the United Nations Secretariat (with the approval of the General Assembly, this number was increased to 98 posts, effective 1 January 2000) and assistance from UNESCO and WHO in the staffing of the education and health programmes. The remaining $3.9 million (1 per cent of total income) was from miscellaneous sources.

93. Expenditure and financial results. Total expenditure incurred by UNRWA in 1999 was $285.6 million, of which $273.2 million was for the regular budget and $12.4 million was for projects. The Agency recorded a nominal surplus of $3.2 million in the cash portion of the regular budget in 1999, representing the difference between actual cash expenditure of $257.5 million and actual cash income of $260.7 million ($259.8 million in donor contributions and $0.9 million in other income). However, the Agency ended 1999 with a deficit of $61.4 million, when expenditure was compared to the regular cash budget of $322.1 million approved by the General Assembly for the year.

94. Termination indemnities. The 2000-2001 regular budget did not include any provision for termination indemnities payable to local staff upon the eventual dissolution of UNRWA, due to the Agency’s inability to fund such a provision in prior years. The current estimated amount of $145.0 million represents a contingent liability for the Agency.


C. Extrabudgetary activities


95. Peace Implementation Programme. The PIP account had a positive balance of $23.4 million at 31 December 1999, representing the difference between actual income of $210.4 million since the programme’s inception and actual expenditure of $187.0 million. Total pledges and contributions under PIP amounted to $228.0 million, of which $17.6 million had yet to be received. All contributions under PIP were earmarked for specific project activities to be implemented over varying periods of time.

96. Lebanon Appeal. The Lebanon Appeal account had a positive balance of $2.0 million at 31 December 1999, representing the difference between actual contributions received since the Appeal was launched in July 1997 and expenditures incurred by the end of December 1999. All contributions under the Lebanon Appeal were earmarked for specific project activities to be implemented over varying periods of time.


D. Current financial situation


97. Overview. UNRWA continued to face a difficult financial situation during the reporting period, characterized by large funding shortfalls in the regular budget, depleted working capital and cash reserves, and cumulative deficits in certain project accounts. The structural deficit, representing the inability of income to keep pace with needs arising from natural growth in the refugee population and inflation, remained a problem. However, through a combination of ad hoc additional donor contributions and prudent financial management by the Agency, including the retention of austerity and cost-reduction measures, by the end of 1999 UNRWA was making some progress in reducing the deficit. The introduction of other administrative measures, including new contracts for area staff in September 1999, contributed to further cost containment. Nevertheless, a budget deficit was expected by the end of 2000 unless additional contributions were made during the year. In the short term, one critical problem facing the Agency in 2000 was a liquidity crisis, which, unless resolved, threatened to disrupt Agency operations by the end of 2000 (see para. 99).

98. Austerity and cost reduction measures in 1999. UNRWA began 1999 with depleted working capital, low cash reserves and no expectation of a significant increase in overall income. Since expected cash income for 1999 fell far short of the $322.1 million regular budget for the year, the Agency was obliged to carry forward austerity measures previously implemented, including those announced in August 1997. Expected cash expenditure was also reduced slightly by other factors, such as managed higher vacancy rates and delayed recruitment of international and local posts in the context of the general recruitment freeze; realization of benefits from previous and ongoing restructuring measures, mainly the use of new salary scales for area staff and reduced international staffing; and non-utilization of certain budget lines as a result of stricter financial controls. The 2000-2001 budget envisaged restoration of some activities, which had previously been cut due to austerity measures.

99. Working capital. Working capital, defined as the difference between assets and liabilities in the regular budget for the calendar year, stood at $10.4 million at 31 December 1999. However, $14.5 million represented funds earmarked to procure basic commodities, leaving a real negative working capital of $4.1 million for the cash budget. That level of working capital was far below the optimal level of one month’s average expenditure, or some $25 million, of which $17 million represented the payroll. The Agency was unable to make progress towards replenishing its working capital during the reporting period, owing to its continuing poor financial situation. However, in its attempt to rebuild its working capital, the Agency had included a provision of $7 million each year in its budget for 2000-2001.

100. Cash position. The Agency’s cash flow position remained critical. The December 1999 salaries for its 21,000 staff were only paid through an advance of $12 million from a major donor against its pledge for the year 2000. Repeated funding shortfalls in previous years had severely eroded UNRWA’s cash position - the amount of cash on hand in Agency bank accounts at any point in time that could be used to meet basic obligations. On 31 December 1999, outstanding pledges under all accounts amounted to $36.9 million, of which $12.7 million pertained to the regular budget and $24.2 million to projects. In addition, the Agency had not yet been reimbursed by the Palestinian Authority in respect of payments made against value-added tax (VAT) and related charges, which were costing the Agency about $1 million annually in lost interest income alone. Those factors exerted further strain on the Agency’s cash position, making it especially difficult to meet obligations in time towards the end of the fiscal year. At mid-2000, the Agency was facing a potentially critical cash shortage in the coming months. The cash flow forecast for 2000 indicated that the Agency would have a cash shortage of about $52.2 million by the end of the year. The main contributory factors were:
101. Financial situation at mid-2000. The latest estimates of income and expenditure indicated that the Agency’s regular cash budget for 2000 would face a deficit of $30.4 million by year’s end. Expected cash expenditure in the regular programme was $280.4 million, as against expected cash income of $250 million. The cash position remained extremely weak, forcing the Agency to live from hand to mouth in terms of balancing incoming funds and outgoing payments. Working capital was for all practical purposes non-existent, making the Agency vulnerable to any change in expected income or expenditure. Additional contributions were being sought to bridge the gap between expected income and expenditure, overcome the difficult cash situation, and replenish the Agency’s working capital.

102. Currency fluctuation. The continuing appreciation of the United States dollar against other European currencies and the Japanese yen caused exchange rate losses to the Agency. About 85 per cent of the Agency’s expenditure is in dollars, while only 40 per cent of its income is received in that currency. Lack of resources and working capital limited the Agency’s ability to hedge against such exchange rate losses.

103. Systems reform. As part of its management reform, the Agency was embarking on a project to replace its financial management and payroll systems. Once those two systems became functional, management and donors’ information requirements would be better met in terms of transparency and timeliness.

Chapter IV

Legal matters


A. Agency staff


104. Arrest and detention of staff. The number of UNRWA staff members arrested and detained throughout the area of operations decreased from 73 in the previous reporting period to 55 in the current reporting period (see annex I, table 11). Although most staff members were released without charge or trial after relatively short periods of detention, the number of staff members who remained in detention at the close of the reporting period was 11 as at 30 June 2000. In the Gaza Strip, a total of 26 staff members were arrested and detained by the Palestinian Authority, compared with 40 in the preceding reporting period. Most detentions were for relatively short periods. Five staff members remained in detention at the close of the reporting period; one was convicted and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for a criminal charge, and two have continued to be detained without charge since 1996. In the West Bank, the number of staff members arrested and detained by the Palestinian Authority decreased from six in the preceding reporting period to three in the current reporting period. None remained in detention as at 30 June 2000. The number of staff members arrested and detained by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank decreased from 10 in the preceding reporting period to five in the current one, none of whom remained in detention as at 30 June 2000. There was a decrease, compared to the preceding reporting period, in the number of staff members arrested and detained in the Syrian Arab Republic; five staff members were arrested and detained; two were subsequently released. Eleven staff members were arrested and detained in Jordan, compared to six in the preceding reporting period. One staff member remained in detention as at 30 June 2000. Five staff members, compared to two in the previous reporting period, were arrested and detained in Lebanon, three of whom were subsequently released.

105. Functional protection of detained staff. The Agency was not always provided with adequate and timely information by the relevant authorities as to the reasons for the arrest and detention of its staff members. In the absence of sufficient information, it was not always possible to ascertain whether the staff members’ official functions were involved, bearing in mind the rights and duties flowing from the Charter of the United Nations, the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the relevant staff regulations and rules of UNRWA. Consequently, the Agency was unable fully to exercise its right to functional protection of staff members arrested and detained.

106. Access to detained staff. As in the previous reporting period, UNRWA was able to obtain access to all Palestinian Authority detention centres in the Gaza Strip to visit detained staff members. However, it was only after persistent efforts and the assistance of the Ministry of Justice that the Agency was provided with adequate information about the place and reason for detention of staff members. Most detained staff members were held either in Gaza Central Prison or in the Preventive Security Headquarters at Tal el-Hawa. The Palestinian Authority failed to provide information regarding the place of, and reasons for, detention of staff members in the West Bank. However, in some cases the Agency ascertained the place of detention through informal channels and visited the staff members. In the West Bank, the Agency experienced no significant difficulty in obtaining details about the place of and reasons for detention of staff by the Israeli authorities. The Agency has been permitted to visit staff members detained there by both the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority. In the Syrian Arab Republic, the Agency was not provided with information by the relevant authorities as to the reasons for the arrest or detention of its staff members. The Agency was also not able to ascertain the place of detention or to make arrangements to visit detained staff. In Lebanon, one staff member was still detained on charges unrelated to UNRWA activities. UNRWA had been allowed access to the detainee.

107. Treatment and state of health of detained staff. The treatment and state of health of staff members in detention continued to be of concern to the Agency. Many of the detained staff members from Gaza complained of crowded prison cells and the lack of specialized doctors available. The state of health of two staff members detained without charge by the Palestinian Authority since 1996 remained a matter of concern, with one suffering from diabetes mellitus and the other suffering from a heart complaint.

108. Freedom of movement of West Bank and Gaza staff. The procedures imposed by the Israeli authorities, citing security grounds to regulate entry to and exit from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, referred to in previous reports, remained in place during the reporting period. Those procedures, described in greater detail below, included: systems of permits regulating the travel of local staff; checkpoint controls and searches of Agency vehicles; occasional closures of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and restrictions on travel across the Allenby Bridge. As a result of all such procedures, movement of Agency staff and vehicles was considerably impeded and frequently prevented, with consequent disruption of Agency operations. The restrictions were primarily applicable to local staff, who comprised 99 per cent of all Agency staff in the West Bank and Gaza. Constraints on UNRWA operations affected the Agency’s ability to conduct its activities in the most efficient manner and were not always consistent with its legal status and its related privileges and immunities. In the framework of the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and with reference to the 1967 Comay-Michelmore Agreement, the Agency continued to make representations to the Israeli authorities at all levels in an effort to ease those constraints and facilitate its operations.

109. Full closures of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a security measure in connection with Israeli public holidays, the Israeli authorities imposed full closures of the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip on several occasions during the reporting period, lasting for a total of seven days in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. During full closures, Palestinians holding West Bank and Gaza Strip identity cards, including Agency staff, were prevented from leaving their area or residence and had their permits revoked without notice.

110. Curfews and internal closures in the West Bank. No curfews or closures were imposed by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank during the reporting period. In response to a security incident in Jericho on 21 May 2000, the Israeli authorities declared Jericho a closed area for Israelis and foreigners. The closure, which lasted four days, resulted in minor disruption to UNRWA operations. A Palestinian medical officer on his way to a clinic in Aqabat Jabr camp was forbidden entry to Jericho for no clear reason.

111. Permits for local staff. For Palestinians with local residency, including UNRWA staff, travel between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip or entry into Israel from either of those areas continued to be subject to a permit system imposed by the Israeli authorities. Accordingly, the Agency continued to be required to seek standing or specific-use permits for its local staff whenever they needed to travel, as described above, for the performance of their official duties. A significant proportion of applications for standing or specific-use permits for Agency local staff were rejected by the Israeli authorities on unspecified security grounds, with consequential adverse effects on the Agency’s activities. The number of standing permits granted to Agency staff based in Gaza was 36 at mid-2000, compared to 37 at mid-1999. The number of standing permits granted to Agency staff based in the West Bank was 275 at 30 June 2000, compared to 274 at mid-1999. Since September 1997, permits issued by the Israeli authorities have expressly prohibited staff members with West Bank and Gaza Strip residency from driving a vehicle in Israel. A separate security clearance was thereafter required, to allow Agency staff with such residency to drive Agency vehicles in Israel. The measure was protested by the Agency at the highest levels, but the Israeli authorities refused to lift the prohibition on permits issued to all UNRWA staff, offering instead to remove the restriction from a limited number of the permits, based on a selective, prioritized list to be provided by the Agency. The enforcement of the prohibition resulted in the loss of many working hours and additional expenses when staff members were prevented from reaching their duty stations or from travelling on duty. The Agency subsequently submitted a list of staff members for whom driving in Jerusalem and Israel was essential for their official duties. The list was submitted under protest and without prejudice to the principle that all UNRWA staff members should be free to enter Israel to perform their duties. The Israeli authorities approved the removal of the driving prohibition from 19 permits issued to staff in the Gaza Strip at the close of the reporting period. The Agency had earlier been given the assurance that the driving prohibition would be removed from 87 permits issued to staff in the West Bank. It is relevant to note that in the previous reporting period, notwithstanding assurances to the contrary, the Israeli authorities had taken no action to remove the driving prohibition. The number of staff permitted to enter Israel and allowed to drive a vehicle in Israel fell far below the Agency’s operational requirements. The permit system complicated and impeded the movement of Agency staff, gave rise to unpredictability and imposed a cumbersome administrative burden on the Agency, which as a consequence had to maintain an extra administrative apparatus to obtain and renew permits of limited validity for several hundred of its staff.

112. Entry to Jerusalem. The majority of standing permits held by UNRWA local staff were for staff with West Bank residency, to enable them to reach their workplace at Agency facilities located in Jerusalem, in particular the West Bank field office, and eight schools and two health centres in the Jerusalem area. Attendance of staff at Jerusalem-area facilities was consequently affected, particularly at the field office, where two thirds of local staff held West Bank residency.

113. Erez checkpoint. Almost all UNRWA vehicles continued to be subjected to internal and external searches, and staff members were requested to pass through a body screen upon exit from the Gaza Strip through the Erez checkpoint, the principal point of transit between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Search procedures, including an X-ray of luggage, were applied to all vehicles driven by international and local staff, with the exception of those holding diplomatic visas, who numbered eight out of some 46 international staff stationed in Gaza during the reporting period. The vehicles were thoroughly searched by either Israeli civilians or, at times, members of the Israel Defence Forces. Most reported incidents have been made in connection with searches operated by military personnel who consistently take more time to conduct the search than their civilian counterparts. The Agency had in March 1996 exceptionally agreed to permit the survey of Agency vehicles driven by international staff exiting the Gaza Strip as a pragmatic and temporary measure in consideration of Israeli security concerns. The Agency continued, so far unsuccessfully, to pursue its efforts to have the search procedures at, inter alia, the Erez checkpoint removed by the relevant Israeli authorities. The Agency continues to hold the view that the current procedures represent a contravention of, inter alia, the 1947 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. In the Agency’s view, a comprehensive and objective review is long overdue of all the procedures currently implemented against the Agency at all the crossing points into and out of Israel. The Agency continued to pursue its efforts by making representations to the Israeli authorities with reference to their obligations under the 1946 Convention on Privileges and Immunities. The opening in February 2000 of a new terminal for VIPs and foreigners did not simplify or speed up the search procedures, which continued to result in time-consuming delays for Agency staff.

114. Allenby (King Hussein) Bridge. There continued to be lengthy delays and search procedures at the Allenby (King Hussein) Bridge for local and international staff with West Bank or Gaza residency upon entry from Jordan. Staff members with local residency crossing the bridge who were travelling with UNRWA drivers were dependent on public transport between the bridge and the terminal. During the entire reporting period, the authorities continued to restrict the days of the week and hours of the day that such staff could cross the bridge from Jordan to the West Bank in transit to the Gaza Strip. With regard to the payment of an exit tax for crossings from the West Bank to Jordan, the Israeli authorities granted a limited number of exemptions for UNRWA officials who crossed the bridge frequently. All other staff members continued to be required to pay the tax when crossing into Jordan. Furthermore, staff with local residency travelling to Jordan were required to pay an additional tax, ostensibly a fee for an exit permit, to the Israeli or the Palestinian authorities, depending on the staff member’s place of residency. There continued to be a restriction on the number of vehicles the Agency could use to transport international staff across the bridge. In addition, the Agency was required to provide a 24-hour pre-notification for each crossing of an international staff member who did not possess a special crossing card. Unlike in previous years, Israeli authorities did not prevent UNRWA vehicles registered in Jordan and displaying a diplomatic licence plate from crossing the bridge from Jordan. On three occasions, on 21, 22 and 23 December 1999, Israeli authorities at the bridge demanded that the UNRWA diplomatic pouch at the bridge be subjected to X-ray. As a result of these incidents, it was decided that the pouch service should be suspended until the matter could be satisfactorily resolved. Following high-level interventions by UNRWA with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, on 28 December the pouch was allowed to pass normally, without being X-rayed. To date there have been no further demands by the Israeli authorities to X-ray the pouch at the bridge.

115. International drivers. Restrictions on the movement of local staff into and out of the Gaza Strip through the Allenby Bridge terminal and on access to Ben Gurion Airport continued to force UNRWA to employ extra international staff as drivers to maintain effective pouch and courier services for its Gaza headquarters and field operations. The Agency incurred significant additional costs in respect of the four international drivers so employed, as compared to the cost of locally recruited drivers.

116. International staff with local residency. UNRWA international staff members holding Jerusalem, West Bank or Gaza identity cards continued to be refused diplomatic or service visas by the Israeli authorities. Such staff required permits for travel between the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. The Agency made repeated representations that, as a matter of principle, all international staff should be accorded equal treatment.


B. Agency services and premises


117. Provision of services. In view of the extent of UNRWA operations and the large number of local staff, the ability of the Agency to conduct its activities effectively in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip continued to be adversely affected by restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, citing security grounds, on the movement of Agency staff and vehicles. The range of constraints impeded the provision of services, and gave rise to delays, inefficiencies, and additional costs. The effect on operations included delays and additional costs in project implementation; inability of staff to reach their workplace at Agency schools, health centres, training centres, offices etc.; inability of refugee beneficiaries to reach Agency installations; inability of students from Gaza to attend West Bank training centres; delays in the transport of supplies between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and within the West Bank; and the inability of senior local staff in the West Bank to visit their counterparts in Gaza on official duty and vice versa.

118. Functioning of headquarters. The effective functioning of UNRWA headquarters at Gaza continued to be negatively affected by Israeli security-related measures. The unrestricted movement of persons and goods, essential to the managing and coordinating role of a headquarters, was not always possible. Restrictions on travel by staff, including senior staff, through the Erez checkpoint and the Allenby Bridge caused particular difficulties in that regard (see paras. 113 and 114 above).

119. Import of goods. The Israeli authorities, upon receipt of 24 hours’ notice and after security clearance, continued to permit local staff with West Bank or Jerusalem residency to drive Agency trucks into the Gaza Strip. As reported last year, the Israeli authorities maintained, with effect from 14 April 1999, crossing fees at Karni terminal for fuel trucks, which led to the disruption of service and delays. The Agency’s view was that the fees in question were in effect a tax from which Agency operations should be exempted. Moreover, UNRWA was officially informed by the Israeli authorities on 7 May that all trucks and trailers carrying supplies for the Agency would have to be routed through the Karni checkpoint instead of Erez as from 1 June 2000. Although no changes occurred on that date, repeated requests by the Agency for clarification of any such impending alteration in procedures were not responded to by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the issue remains very much alive. The Agency has been informed that the decision to move the Agency’s haulage operations from Erez to Karni has merely been postponed and will be resurrected in the near future. If the move does take place on the terms advanced by the Israeli authorities, then the Agency’s operations would be severely and unjustifiably affected. The suggested procedures, which have been unilaterally advanced by Israel for adoption at the Karni crossing, would cause serious delays and result in the Agency incurring considerable additional expenditure, at a time when it is experiencing severe financial difficulties.

120. Legal advice and assistance. UNRWA continued to provide legal advice and assistance, in particular for refugees applying for family reunification to the Gaza Strip. The Agency also responded to a large number of requests for confirmation of refugee status from registered refugees and from governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide.

121. Incursions into installations. No incursions into UNRWA premises were reported in the West Bank during the reporting period. In the Gaza Strip, there were seven incursions by Palestinian Authority officials. The Agency protested those incidents to the Palestinian Authority. On submitting its protest, the Agency reminded the Palestinian Authority of its obligations in relation to the inviolability of UNRWA premises. No incursions were reported in Jordan, Lebanon, or the Syrian Arab Republic. During the reporting period, illegal constructions commenced on land adjacent to UNRWA premises in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Agency formally protested to the Palestinian Authority since some of the incidents involved Palestinian Authority employees.

122. Inspections of goods. No difficulties were reported during the period under review.

123. Diesel tax. The Agency submitted a formal protest to the Syrian authorities in connection with the levying of a charge payable on diesel vehicles registered on or after 1 January 1990, which in the view of the Agency constituted a direct tax within the meaning of the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. Under the convention, UNRWA was exempted from such taxes. The matter was under consideration by UNRWA and the Syrian authorities.

124. Initiation of proceedings. During the period under review UNRWA did not engage in any criminal or other proceedings against a staff member.

125. Immunity from legal process. The Israeli authorities continued to refuse to grant immunity from legal process to staff members with local residency. As previously reported, a staff member was prosecuted for a serious traffic offence arising out of the performance of his official duties. The Agency pursued this matter with a view to requesting Israel to intervene to set aside the proceedings. However, the trial of the staff member proceeded, and he was acquitted by a judgement delivered on 4 July 2000. UNRWA would continue to assert the functional immunity of all its staff members, where appropriate, and to request the Government concerned to intervene on its behalf.

126. Reimbursement of VAT and other charges. By the close of the reporting period, UNRWA had only received very limited partial reimbursement from the Palestinian Authority in respect of value added tax (VAT) charges paid by the Agency. The total amount outstanding as of 30 June 2000 was $18.9 million. Between 1967 and July 1994, the Israeli Government paid all port and related charges in respect of UNRWA supplies and materials destined for refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under article (f) of the 1967 Comay-Michelmore Agreement between UNRWA and the Israeli Government. Following the signing in 1994 and 1995 of agreements flowing from the Oslo accords, certain administrative responsibilities were transferred from the Israeli Government to the Palestinian Authority in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In formal communications, the Israeli Government notified UNRWA that they were ceasing payment under the 1967 Agreement of these charges, maintaining that since the Palestinian Authority had the authority to collect revenue in areas under Palestinian control, they should assume responsibility for the charges. In response to the Israeli communications, UNRWA agreed to accept temporary responsibility for the charges, on the understanding that it was expected that the Palestinian Authority would subsequently provide reimbursement and services “in kind” to cover this expenditure. However, a Palestinian-controlled facility capable of receiving imports has not been established, and all such supplies and materials continue to be transported through ports situated within Israeli territory. Consequently, since January 1996 UNRWA has been paying all the port and related charges for supplies and materials destined for the West Bank and Gaza Strip which were previously paid by the Israeli Government (the total cost to the Agency as of 30 June 2000 was $4.2 million). The Palestinian Authority had advised the Agency that it could not accept responsibility for refunding to UNRWA port and related charges levied within areas under Israeli control and jurisdiction. UNRWA has revisited the matter with the Israeli Government in the context of the relevant provisions of the Comay-Michelmore Agreement. All aspects of the matter are now under review. In Jordan, the Agency requested the authorities to reimburse sales taxes it had paid. The Agency formally expressed its concern to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the ongoing financial burden that had been incurred as a result of the delay in receiving the reimbursements to which it was entitled.


C. Claims against Governments


127. UNRWA regretted that no progress had been made with regard to its various other outstanding claims against Governments.

Chapter V

Jordan


A. Education


128. Elementary and preparatory schooling. The 192 UNRWA schools in Jordan accommodated 139,803 pupils in the six-year elementary cycle and four-year preparatory cycle in 1999/00, a decrease of 1,411 pupils (1.0 per cent) in 1999/00, compared with the previous school year. The decrease in enrolment could be attributed to several factors, such as the movement of refugee families from Jordan to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the transfer of refugee pupils from UNRWA schools to newly constructed government schools next to some refugee camps, the shorter school week in government schools (five days as compared to six days in UNRWA schools), and the predominance of single-shift schools in government schools.

129. Education infrastructure. Some 92.7 per cent of UNRWA school buildings were still operating on a double-shift basis, and 22.4 per cent of them were accommodated in unsatisfactory rented buildings with small classrooms. The poor physical condition of many UNRWA school premises in Jordan continued to be of concern to the Agency in its efforts to provide a satisfactory learning environment for refugee pupils. Twenty-four unsatisfactory rented buildings accounted for 23.3 per cent of the 103 school premises used by the Agency in the field. With project funds, construction work was completed on two school buildings to replace the five unsatisfactory Agency school buildings in Irbid. With project funding, construction was also completed on two toilet blocks, two water reservoirs, and a computer laboratory at the Amman training centre. The Agency continued to seek funding to replace two rented premises at Wadi el-Rayyan and to build and equip computer rooms in schools to meet the Jordanian curriculum’s computer science requirement for the tenth grade. Despite generous contributions received during the reporting period, 90 per cent of tenth-grade pupils still had to use under-equipped computer rooms.

130. Special education. A special education project continued to provide children with learning difficulties with opportunities for mainstreaming in the elementary cycle. Some 32 deaf and six blind children were mainstreamed in 12 schools. Some 650 low achievers and slow learning pupils benefited from the nine slow learners’ centres, and 814 pupils benefited from 23 remedial classes during the school year 1999/00. Additional donor funding was needed to allow those programmes to continue.

131. Vocational and technical training. A total of 1,228 trainees, including 474 women, were enrolled in 16 trade courses and 12 technical/semi-professional courses at Amman training centre and Wadi Seer training centre during the 1999/00 school year. Technical/semi-professional trainees maintained excellent results in the comprehensive examinations for community colleges administered by the Jordanian Balqa Applied University in July 1999, attaining pass rates of 93.5 per cent at the Amman centre and 84 per cent at the Wadi Seer centre, as compared to a national average of 61 per cent in corresponding subjects.

132. Education sciences faculty. The education sciences faculty at the Amman training centre provided in-service training to 407 UNRWA teachers, including 235 women, and pre-service teacher education to 309 secondary-school graduates, including 265 women. During the reporting period, 223 teachers graduated from the in-service programme in 1999/00 and 88 students graduated from the pre-service programme, all of whom were awarded an accredited bachelor’s degree in education.

133. University scholarships. In 1999/00, 164 scholarships, 61 of which are held by female students, continued from previous years.


B. Health


134. Primary care. UNRWA health care for Palestine refugees in Jordan was delivered through 23 primary health-care facilities, all of which provided family planning services, 21 of which contained laboratories, 17 of which provided special care for non-communicable diseases, and one of which operated radiology and physiotherapy units. Dental care was offered at 14 facilities, in addition to three mobile dental units which provided school and community oral health care. Specialist care comprising gynaecology and obstetrics was provided through a weekly rotating schedule, whereby pre-screened patients were referred by medical officers for further assessment and management by specialists. Many refugees in Jordan availed themselves of more easily accessible government primary health-care services. During the reporting period, work was in progress to construct a new health centre in North Shouneh, Jordan Valley, and to expand Irbid health centre and Musherifeh mother and child health centre.

135. Secondary care. Assistance towards secondary care was provided entirely through a reimbursement scheme, which partially covered medical expenses incurred by refugees for emergency treatment at government hospitals. In order to avoid the undesirable outcomes of complicated pregnancies, the limited budget provisions were almost doubled in the year 2000 to ensure safe delivery of women identified as high-risk, who could neither be admitted to government hospitals nor afford the cost of private sector hospitals.

136. Cooperation with the Jordanian Government. The long-standing cooperation between UNRWA and the Jordanian Ministry of Health continued to cover a wide range of public health activities, including immunization, family health, surveillance of communicable diseases, development of human resources for health, quality assurance of essential drugs, participation in national immunization campaigns against poliomyelitis and measles and in-kind donation of hepatitis B vaccine. In addition, UNRWA joined the National Working Group of the UNICEF-sponsored project “Alliance and action for a generation of tobacco-free children and youth”, in which all governmental and non-governmental organizations in the country were involved.

137. Cooperation with non-governmental organizations. The Agency maintained close cooperation with the National Population Committee and the Jordanian Family Planning Association on reproductive health activities. An agreement was reached with the French non-governmental organization Médecins du monde, which established three primary health-care facilities at Aqaba, Baqa’a and Jerash, with the aim of providing complementary health care and longer working hours both to the refugee and non-refugee population. The Agency will also be collaborating with USAID within the framework of the five-year primary health-care institutions project, implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

138. Disease outbreak. An outbreak of food poisoning took place in Baqa’a camp and adjacent localities in April 2000, due to the consumption of bread contaminated with toxic material. A total of 147 cases were reported, of whom 122 were camp residents. The Ministry of Health mobilized teams to carry out investigations and implement public health measures. All cases were treated at the government hospital and recovered with no fatalities.


C. Relief and social services


139. Refugee registration. On 30 June 2000, the number of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan stood at 1,570,192, an increase of 3.8 per cent over the 30 June 1999 figure of 1,512,742. The rate of increase was approximately equal to population growth in the country. The refugee community in Jordan remained the largest of any field, accounting for 42 per cent of all registered refugees.

140. Special hardship programme. Jordan continued to have the lowest percentage of refugees enrolled in the special hardship programme, 2.6 per cent, as compared to an Agency-wide average of 5.5 per cent. This relatively low percentage was attributable to the better living conditions of refugees in Jordan, by virtue of their access, as Jordanian citizens, to certain governmental services. However, their socio-economic status witnessed a drop in the years 1995-2000, reflecting overall conditions in the country where the rate of unemployment during the reporting period hovered around 27 per cent, with one third of the population living below the poverty line. The number of special hardship cases registered in Jordan rose from 38,858 at 30 June 1999 to 40,841 at 30 June 2000.

141. Selective cash assistance. At the beginning of 2000, an allotment of $95,413 was approved as direct cash assistance for refugees who met exceptional difficulties or lacked basic necessities. So far 324 families have been assisted, for a total of $52,558.

142. Shelter rehabilitation. UNRWA rehabilitated the shelters of 18 families during the reporting period, with project funding. There were 321 shelters on the waiting list.

143. Poverty alleviation. Fifty-one special hardship case families who had established microenterprises with financial and technical assistance from UNRWA achieved regular income levels sufficient to remove them from UNRWA’s ration rolls. In addition six group-guaranteed savings/credit programmes continued to operate as community banks in camps, benefiting a total of 103 women; loans of up to $1,400 supported microenterprise development, mostly in the services sector. The Husn camp group-guaranteed loan scheme provided loans to 12 women using permaculture to grow vegetables. In mid-1999 UNRWA signed a loan agreement with the Bank of Jordan to administer the income-generation programme. A total of 58 new projects in various sectors (small industry, agriculture, and services) were approved for financing. Loans ranged in size from $700 to $10,000. Thirty-six projects had already been financed at a total cost of $192,357.

144. Women in development. All 21 women’s programme centres in Jordan were managed by local committees of refugee women and governed by their own charters and by-laws. Activities involved income-generation, skills training, cultural and awareness-raising programmes. Those programmes were planned and implemented to meet local women’s needs, ensuring their active participation and support. Examples included:

145.
Community rehabilitation. Following the evaluation of the community rehabilitation programme, a recommendation was adopted to establish a pilot community-based rehabilitation project at Jerash camp. Implemented with the technical and financial assistance of a Swedish and a Palestinian non-governmental organization, the aim of the project was to assist people with special needs in their own environment, using local resources and strong referral systems. The Higher Coordination Committee of the Community Rehabilitation Programme, UNRWA and an Italian non-governmental organization established a new community rehabilitation programme in Zarqa camp. This replicated the Jerash pilot project and represented the tenth CRC assisted by UNRWA. In coordination with a Swedish non-governmental organization, community-based rehabilitation training, targeting CRC volunteers, Committee members and UNRWA employees, was under study.

146. Waqqas compound. A joint services compound was established in 1998 to replace scattered installations in the Waqqas area of the Jordan Valley and to serve as a model for a comprehensive and integrated approach to service provision. Combined health services, activities and skills training for women, child care, and programmes for the physically and mentally challenged were operating at the compound. Based on the Waqqas experience, potential donors expressed interest in sponsoring similar compounds elsewhere. More than 300 women were using the programme centre, and more than 100 children were enrolled in the preschool classes. The CRC programme addressed all kinds of disabilities, except sight impairment. Fifteen volunteer rehabilitation workers received intensive professional training to enable them to deliver assistance at optimum levels. As a result, services diversified to include academic training, physiotherapy, linguistic training, individual and group integration of the disabled in schools, recreational activities, vocational integration, summer and winter camps for able and disabled children, awareness sessions and home visits. The compound’s ability to perform at a high level within a short period of time was considered a model in terms of utilizing limited available resources in the Jordan Valley.

Chapter VI

Lebanon


A. Education


147. Elementary and preparatory schooling. In the 1999/00 school year, the 71 UNRWA pre-secondary schools in Lebanon accommodated 39,457 pupils in the six-year elementary cycle and three-year preparatory cycle. Enrolment increased by only 12 pupils over the previous year. That relatively low increase may have been attributable to the movement of some Palestine refugee families out of Lebanon. In the annual brévet examination for students at the third preparatory level, held in July 1999, Agency pupils attained a pass rate of 54 per cent, compared to 44 per cent in government schools.

148. Secondary schooling. Lebanon remained the only field in which UNRWA offered secondary-level education on a limited scale to address the problem of restricted access for Palestine refugees to government schools and the prohibitively high cost of private schools. There were three secondary schools - the Galilee school in Burj el-Barajneh, Bissan school in Ein el-Hilweh, and Al-Aqsa school in Rashidieh. The Galilee school accommodated 608 students in grades 10, 11 and 12. Bissan school accommodated 644 pupils in grades 10, 11 and 12. Al-Aqsa school accommodated 444 of students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The Galilee and Bissan schools’ pass rate was 84 per cent for the official general secondary examination. The result is excellent compared to the general result (60 per cent) in private and official schools.

149. Education infrastructure. Construction was completed on four school buildings, two in the central Lebanon area and two in Ein el-Hilweh camp, Saida area, with project funding. The two school buildings in central Lebanon would accommodate secondary school pupils and female students from preparatory schools. The new premises in Saida and Tyre would enable the Agency to avoid triple shifting and to improve the educational environment in the schools. Work was in progress to replace one other dilapidated school (Nimrin in El-Buss, Tyre) and one secondary school in Rashidieh camp. A high proportion of schools in Lebanon were housed in unsatisfactory rented premises (39.2 per cent). The small size of the classrooms available in rented buildings kept the classroom occupancy rate relatively low (39.5 pupils), though conditions remained cramped. The Agency remained concerned about the possible financial implications of a rent law promulgated in the previous reporting period which, if fully applied to UNRWA, could lead to a dramatic increase in rental costs paid by the Agency, particularly for schools. Since the Agency is not allowed to replace rented schools outside the camps with Agency-built schools, the Education Programme continued to exert efforts to find suitable standard premises.

150. Vocational and technical education. The Siblin training centre provided vocational and technical training to 619 trainees, of whom 125 were women, in 13 trade courses and seven technical/semi-professional courses.

151. Pre-service teacher training. The total enrolment at Siblin training centre was 103 students, of whom 75 were women. Utilizing a curriculum designed by UNRWA, 52 students graduated from the course in August 1999, all of whom were employed by the Agency.

152. Kindergartens. The four French-language kindergartens funded by a donor continued to operate, with an enrolment of 260 children in the 1999/00 school year.

153. University scholarships. In 1999/00, 84 scholarships, 27 of which were obtained by female students, continued from previous years.


B. Health


154. Primary care. UNRWA remained the main provider of health care for the 373,000 refugees registered in Lebanon. Access to public-sector health services was restricted by a public health infrastructure that was still developing, and refugees were for the most part unable to afford the high cost of private care. Agency services were provided through 25 primary health care facilities, all offering family planning services and special care for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Seventeen provided dental care, 15 contained laboratories, four of which had radiological facilities, and 15 offered specialist care in cardiology, obstetrics and gynaecology. Construction of a polyclinic in Beirut and the replacement of the unsatisfactory health centre at Rashidieh camp, Tyre area, were completed by mid-1999.

155. Secondary care. Hospital care was provided to refugees in Lebanon through contractual arrangements with 14 private and Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) general hospitals and two mental health institutions. Steadily rising costs and the wide gap between the minimum needs of the refugee population and UNRWA’s available resources made the provision of sufficient hospital care a priority concern in the field. Owing to especially difficult socio-economic conditions, refugees in Lebanon remained exempt from the co-payment system in place in other fields, although co-payments were required for specialized life-saving treatment. It became evident during the reporting period that services could not be maintained within the limited funds allocated from the Agency’s regular budget. The Agency therefore sought other economical options. Following a thorough assessment of the standards of care and facilities available at the PRCS hospitals, 70 beds (61 per cent of the contracted beds) were deployed from private hospitals to the PRCS hospitals at much lower rates, which resulted in substantial cost-efficiency gains and higher patient satisfaction. However, due to funding shortfalls, the services during the second half of 1999 could be only sustained by redeployment of funds from other fields or programmes as well as from special contributions from Norway, Canada, and a non-governmental organization, World Vision International. The main challenge remained securing additional contributions to sustain the hospitalization scheme, which had, over the past few years, been largely dependent on extrabudgetary resources. To this effect, a tripartite meeting was held in February 2000 between UNRWA and the Italian and Canadian Governments. The meeting was part of efforts under way since 1998 by the three parties to improve access of Palestine refugees to hospitalization services in Lebanon by ensuring a predictable and sustainable source of funding as a substitute to repeated emergency appeals. The three parties agreed, inter alia, in a Memorandum of Understanding that additional funding of approximately $4.4 million needed to be raised over and above funds allocated under the field’s regular budget to sustain and improve essential hospital services from July 2000 to June 2002. The parties also agreed that priority should be given to the development of an effective health information system through close monitoring of hospital services and achieving cost efficiencies in the future, through close cooperation between PRCS hospitals and UNRWA.

156. Cooperation with the Lebanese Government. UNRWA participated in national immunization days for the eradication of poliomyelitis in Lebanon in accordance with the WHO regional strategy, using vaccines donated by UNICEF. The Agency and the national tuberculosis control programme also maintained close cooperation on all aspects pertaining to implementation of the WHO directly observed short-course treatment strategy, including epidemiological surveillance, management and follow-up. The national thalassaemia association continued to provide support towards the treatment of refugee children suffering from that congenital disease.

157. Environmental health infrastructure. Projects for the construction of sewerage, drainage and water supply systems in eight camps could not proceed on schedule due to tendering, financial and logistical difficulties. The cost of construction was estimated in 1991 at $11 million. In 1997, the Commission of the European Community pledged a total of ECU 8,750,000 ($8 million) for implementation of these projects over two phases. Conceptual and feasibility studies, including detailed design, tender documents and specifications were completed for all eight camps, reviewed and recommended for acceptance by the Agency. However, the Agency was unable to complete the projects by December 1999, as originally planned, and a final EU decision regarding the method of tendering for the construction and supervision contracts was awaited. The revised completion date of the projects was December 2002. However, since the available level of funding was insufficient to undertake the full project in all eight camps covered by the UNRWA/EU agreement, the Agency established priorities for project implementation. Operational difficulties that were encountered during implementation of the project to mechanize the collection and disposal of refuse from refugee camps were overcome, making possible optimal use of equipment purchased with a contribution from the Government of the Netherlands.

158. Disease outbreak. An outbreak of food poisoning took place in Beddawi camp, north Lebanon, during the period 20-24 December 1999. Of the 92 cases reported, due to consumption of contaminated raw meat, 22 required hospitalization. There were no fatalities.


C. Relief and social services


159. Refugee registration. At 30 June 2000, the number of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon stood at 376,472, an increase of 1.7 per cent over the 30 June 1999 figure of 370,144.

160. Special hardship programme. At the end of June 2000, the number of persons enrolled in the special hardship programme was 40,519, representing 10.7 per cent of the registered population. Demand on the programme continued to rise due to the difficult socio-economic situation of the refugees in Lebanon and the inability of families to meet basic needs for food and shelter. Delays in the delivery of basic commodities and cash for food necessitated an adjustment in the ration distribution schedule. Lentils continued to be distributed exclusively in Lebanon, in addition to the other five basic ration components. Cash for food was not distributed until the second quarter of 2000, due to the late arrival of donor funds. Unskilled young men and women enrolled in the special hardship assistance programme who had dropped out of school were admitted to short-term vocational training courses at Siblin training centre. A computerized database relating to the special hardship assistance programme was downloaded to the Lebanon field, and data entry of the social survey reports was finalized by the social workers in August 1999. This completed the unification of the core databases within the unified registration system in the Lebanon field.

161. Selective cash assistance. Between January and June 2000, $52,142 was disbursed to 714 families to cover emergency medical, rent and educational needs.

162. Shelter rehabilitation. In the first quarter of 2000, the 1,502 families enrolled in the special hardship assistance programme continued to inhabit shelters that failed to meet minimum standards. Despite financial and other constraints, 19 shelters accommodating 102 persons were rehabilitated, using project funding during the reporting period. The ban imposed by the Lebanese authorities on the admission of building materials to the Tyre camps necessitated a reprogramming of the shelter rehabilitation programme. As a result, funds originally earmarked for shelter rehabilitation in Tyre area were diverted to other areas, following clearance with respective donors. Several unsuccessful interventions were made with the Lebanese authorities to lift the ban in the Tyre area. In Saida area, a similar ban, imposed in November 1999, was lifted in December 1999 after successful negotiations with the Lebanese authorities. The reprogramming resulted in delays in project implementation, inflicting additional hardship on families living in less than adequate housing conditions.

163. Poverty alleviation. Restructuring of a variety of credit activities was carried out during the reporting period, merging the income generation and small loans into one microfinance package under the umbrella of poverty alleviation activities. The restructuring covered procedures and systems, revision of interest rates, banking agreements, credit repayment conditions and staffing. New guidelines and loan agreements were issued, and a pamphlet was produced to facilitate access to the programme and increase public awareness of credit facilities within the refugee community. During the reporting period, 79 loans ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 each were issued, creating or saving 130 jobs at a total value of $291,670. Soft loans continued to be administered to families in special hardship cases. Twenty-three soft loans were issued, ranging from $3,200 to $6,000, of which 50-70 per cent were disbursed as grants and the balance as loans with a 7 per cent service charge. Twenty-two families were removed from the ration rolls during the reporting period because income from their microenterprises was sufficient to maintain their economic self-reliance.

164. Women in development. A total of 2,938 participants attended the various skills training courses and activities organized by women’s committees in the 10 women’s programme centres. Skills training was carried out by trainers selected by the committees from the local community, and their salaries were paid from the revenues of the centres. The selection of courses and activities was made according to community needs and demands. A variety of activities to increase awareness on gender, health and legal and social issues were implemented, in coordination with UNRWA departments, external specialists and non-governmental organizations. The group guaranteed lending scheme that had been introduced in the Beddawi and Burj el-Barajneh centres progressed satisfactorily and was replicated in Sabra and Nahr el-Bared during the reporting period. By June 2000, 22 groups consisting of 110 women had been established, and a total of $7,500 had been invested from the revenues of the centres. In Burj Hammoud, a play centre was established in 1999. Partnership and coordination with local non-governmental organizations continued and was strengthened during the reporting period.

165. Community rehabilitation. UNRWA played a major role in drafting the by-laws of the Forum of NGOs which provided services for disabled Palestine refugees in Lebanon. As a member of the Forum, UNRWA worked closely with other members to develop and adapt a unified referral system to streamline rehabilitation services, provision of prosthetic devices and outreach through home-based services. An agreement was concluded with a Norwegian non-governmental organization to provide disabled persons with prosthetic devices on a cost-sharing basis. In coordination with UNRWA, a Spanish non-governmental organization implemented a project in the north Lebanon and Beqa’a areas, in which UNRWA and community rehabilitation centre staff were trained, improvements in the old rehabilitation centre in Nahr el-Bared camp were carried out, and rehabilitation aids and home adaptation were extended to disabled persons. The Nahr el-Bared centre maintained close ties with a Swedish team for rehabilitation, in an effort to expand community-based rehabilitation services for Palestine refugees throughout the north Lebanon area. A project in Ein el-Hilweh to place children with visual impairments in mainstream education progressed successfully during the reporting period. The success of the project in Ein el-Hilweh prompted a Norwegian non-governmental organization to sponsor a similar project in the Tyre area, in coordination with UNRWA and the Nabil Badran Institution. Preparations were under way to begin the project in the 2000/01 scholastic year. As part of its programme to support and enhance community-based rehabilitation services, UNRWA gave financial support to the Nabil Badran Institution and Sour Community Rehabilitation Centre in the Tyre area. In the absence of adequate community-based rehabilitation services in some camps, UNRWA continued to sponsor 54 disabled children in specialized institutions.

166. Youth activities. The first youth activities centre in Nahr el-Bared opened. Recreational sports and educational activities were organized for 2,364 participants during the reporting period. The centre is managed by a local committee, under the supervision of UNRWA and a British non-governmental organization. The bulk of the running cost is covered from membership fees and income-generating activities in the centre.

Chapter VII

Syrian Arab Republic


A. Education


167. Elementary and preparatory schooling. In the 1999/00 school year, the 110 UNRWA administrative schools in the Syrian Arab Republic accommodated 64,437 pupils in the six-year elementary and three-year preparatory cycles. Enrolment in UNRWA schools in 1999/00 decreased, compared to the preceding year, by 417 pupils (0.64 per cent). Some 93.6 per cent of the 110 administrative schools were working on a double-shift basis, and 8.2 per cent were housed in unsatisfactory rented school buildings. The high pass rate (93.6 per cent) in the annual government examination for the third-year preparatory pupils, conducted in mid-1999, could be attributed in part to the monitoring and control system adopted by UNRWA in the Syrian Arab Republic. The system was based on continuous evaluation and diagnosis of student weakness, together with the development of remedial work during the school year.

168. Education infrastructure. Construction of the Zeeb school in Aleppo was completed. Construction of another school at Kharrieyeh in Latakia was under way. Some 93.6 per cent of Agency school buildings operated on a double-shift basis. The average classroom occupancy rate was 44 pupils per room.

169. Vocational and technical training. The Damascus training centre accommodated 782 trainees, of whom 169 were women and 157 were male trainee boarders. Trainees were enrolled in 13 trade courses and seven technical/semi-professional courses. Following intensive UNRWA efforts, the Syrian Government approved the recognition of the centre’s diplomas for 1999/00 and all prior diplomas. Two additional subjects, Arabic language and national culture, were introduced. Previous graduates must sit an exam in those two subjects in order to have their diplomas recognized. This step was considered a major achievement which would reflect positively on increasing employment opportunities for centre graduates.

170. University scholarships. In 1999/00, 172 scholars, 61 of whom were women, continued their studies from previous years.


B. Health


171. Primary care. Health care was provided to Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic through the Agency’s network of 23 health centres, all of which provided comprehensive medical care, including mother and child health care and family planning services, and specialist care for diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Of those facilities, 19 accommodated laboratories, and 12 offered dental services, supported by school oral health services through a mobile dental unit. During the reporting period, work was well in progress for construction of new health centres in Khan Danoun camp and Muzereib. Work was completed on a major renovation and upgrading of equipment at Alliance health centre, Damascus town.

172. Secondary care. Hospital services were provided through contractual agreements with eight private hospitals, based on minimal government rates. Since no additional allocations could be made available in 1999 to maintain essential hospital services, strict control on referrals and the duration of stay remained in force, and a partial redeployment of beds was made from private-sector hospitals to less expensive non-governmental organization hospitals. Additional budget provisions to alleviate the situation were allocated, effective in 2000.

173. Cooperation with the Syrian Government. The long-standing cooperation and coordination between UNRWA and the Syrian Ministry of Health continued, especially in the areas of disease surveillance and control and in national immunization campaigns against poliomyelitis. The Ministry continued to meet the Agency’s requirements of hepatitis B vaccine through in-kind donations. Cooperation was maintained with the national tuberculosis programme to coordinate disease surveillance and control activities, based on the WHO directly observed short-course strategy. Refugee children suffering from thalassaemia continued to be treated through the national thalassaemia control programme.

174. Environmental health infrastructure. With European Community Humanitarian Organization (ECHO) funding, the project for connecting Khan Danoun camp sewers with the main sewerage system of the nearby municipality was completed in March 2000. A contract was awarded for a detailed feasibility study on sewerage and drainage in Khan Eshieh camp and water supply in Khan Eshsieh and Khan Danoun camps, with special funding from Switzerland. The local municipal authorities implemented a major project for clean-up and protection of the banks of Al-Awaj river which runs alongside Khan Eshieh camp. Extension of the project to the refugee camp could not be implemented, because it would involve demolition of some shelters and provision of alternative accommodation.

175. Disease outbreak. An outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis took place in the Ein el-Tal residential area near Aleppo during January-February 2000, due to the build-up of the sand fly population as a result of a breakdown in the adjacent municipal sewerage system. In collaboration with the local municipal authorities, UNRWA carried out the necessary public health measures to control the outbreak which included more frequent garbage collection and insecticide spraying. The total cases reported among Palestine refugees was 97, all of them treated by the Ministry of Health. Leishmaniasis is still endemic in the area.


C. Relief and social services


176. Refugee registration. At 30 June 2000, the number of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in the Syrian Arab Republic stood at 383,199, an increase of 2.3 per cent over the 30 June 1999 figure of 374,521. The rate of increase reflected natural population growth. There was a notable increase during the first half of 2000 in the number of refugees seeking to update their registration data, possibly in response to developments in the peace process.

177. Special hardship cases. The number of special hardship cases (SHC) increased by 6.8 per cent, from 24,891 persons in June 1999 to 26,594 in June 2000. The year was characterized by delays in the receipt of funds for cash subsidies and some of the food commodities for SHC families, which in turn frequently delayed the distribution process. Social workers, as in other fields, continue to be overloaded, with average case-loads of 320, well over the recommended norm of 250 cases per social worker.

178. Selective cash assistance. The freezing of the selective cash assistance programme during the second half of 1999 (due to lack of funds) continued to leave many impoverished families unassisted in emergency situations. In the year 2000, a modest budget allotment of $76,000 was reintroduced, enabling the field to help some 250 of the most destitute SHC families, but falling short of the need for this type of assistance.

179. Shelter rehabilitation. For the year 1999 the shelter rehabilitation programme had no budget under the General Fund, which had a negative impact on the programme. In the reporting period, the sum of $121,000 was reprogrammed from project fund savings and allotted for shelter rehabilitation. As a result, 29 shelters were covered; 21 shelters were under reconstruction, and eight were under repair in the central and south areas of Damascus; and an estimated 76 shelters were on the waiting list for immediate intervention. Work was being carried out on a self-help basis.

180. Poverty alleviation. New guidelines were being considered to change the current procedures, methodologies and terminology of the programme and to set clear policy and objectives. The new approach aimed at leading the programme towards self-sustainability. Eighteen new individual projects were established, bringing the total since the start of the programme to 144. With a donation of $80,000, the income-generation programme funded 52 group guaranteed lending schemes which were established by February 2000 for 232 clients. Since 1994 the total number of groups formed under the scheme had reached 116, with 1,023 clients. The groups provided multipurpose loans that were not restricted to businesses only. The income-generation programme charged a 2.5 per cent administrative fee for each loan. As of 1 May 2000 the percentage was raised to 5 per cent.

181. Women in development. The women’s programme centres continued to play an important and positive role in women’s empowerment and community development. A series of workshops on women’s rights and issues related to marriage and child education were conducted, in cooperation with UNICEF, at all centres, for participants from the local community. The workshops aimed at raising the awareness of children’s rights, women’s rights and of gender and other social and legal issues. Twenty-two women, representing the management committees, participated in a workshop conducted by UNICEF on participation in development techniques. Five community development social worker posts were established by January 2000, bringing the total number to 10. This was made possible by the Relief and Social Services Department’s five-year plan which required the elimination (by the end of 1999) of all women’s programme supervisor and sewing instructor posts. The social workers were trained on how to link the courses offered by the centres with the needs of the community and how to activate the role of the management committees and subcommittees to achieve administrative and financial sustainability for the centres. Similar training was conducted in Damascus for 70 women representing nine centres. In an effort to upgrade the centre kindergartens and develop closer cooperation between UNRWA and Save the Children Fund regionally, a workshop was held to identify the needs of parents, children, and kindergarten supervisors and to examine methods of improving the pre-school education being given. Health education was provided, and cultural seminars on Palestinian heritage were conducted. Child rights issues, with an emphasis on healthy child-rearing practices and how to cope with particular psychological problems, were covered in seminars conducted at all of the women’s programme centres. A communication skills workshop to strengthen relationships with the parents of the kindergarten children was conducted. A total of 1,800 men and women graduated from a wide variety of courses on computer word processing, typing, sewing, embroidery, hair dressing, literacy, English language, aerobics, and ceramics.

182. Community rehabilitation. In cooperation with an Italian non-governmental organization and an international donor in Damascus, it was agreed to convert the volunteers at Hama and Dera’a into community rehabilitation workers. A total of 150 orphans and disabled children between 7 and 13 years of age participated in a summer camp in Tartous. The community rehabilitation centres (CRCs) continued to organize embroidery and handicraft exhibitions for publicity and fund-raising purposes. Training courses for CRC volunteer staff and social workers were provided on project design and fund-raising, management of CRCs, teamwork, income-generation projects, speaking and hearing disabilities, cerebral palsy, mental disabilities, and early intervention. UNRWA staff benefited from specialized training in Egypt on community-based rehabilitation and conducted visits throughout the year to review the CRC activities in that regard. The visits also included an assessment of the number of CRC clients, the number of persons with various disabilities in the camps, and the services offered at the CRCs and through home visits. As a mechanism to raise community awareness, brochures were printed entitled “For the happiness of your children” and distributed house-to-house in three camps. The brochures covered various hearing and vision impairments and discussed how to detect and prevent such disabilities.

Chapter VIII

West Bank


A. Education


183. Elementary and preparatory schooling. UNRWA operated 96 schools in the West Bank, 36 for boys, 45 for girls and 15 co-educational. The schools accommodated 53,834 pupils, 43.3 per cent boys and 56.7 per cent girls. Enrolment in 1999/00 increased by 3.6 per cent over 1998/99.

184. Education infrastructure. With project funding, UNRWA began the construction of six schools to replace unsatisfactory premises, three of which (Beit Sourik, Shufat, and Hebron) had already been completed, and three of which were still under construction (at Ramallah, Abu Dis and Nur Shams). Eight classrooms, two specialized rooms (a science laboratory and a room for vocational education) were also constructed; two classrooms at the Ramallah women’s training centre and six other classrooms were under construction. UNRWA continued to experience difficulty in obtaining sites for school construction, particularly in Jerusalem. Agency schools in the West Bank had the lowest classroom occupancy rate (38.2 pupils) of any field as a result of the relatively high proportion of schools accommodated in unsatisfactory rented premises (19.3 per cent) or located outside camps or in remote areas. Schools in the camps remained overcrowded.

185. Vocational and technical training. The three UNRWA vocational and technical training centres in the West Bank - Ramallah women’s training centre, Ramallah men’s training centre, and Kalandia training centre - accommodated 1,187 trainees during the 1999/00 school year, of whom 519 were women. The three centres offered 16 trade courses and 20 technical/semi-professional courses. Graduating UNRWA trainees attained a pass rate of 80.6 per cent in the 1999 comprehensive examination held by the Ministry of Higher Education, as compared to 63.95 per cent for all colleges in the West Bank. In cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, five short-term courses of 6-40 weeks’ duration were offered at the Kalandia centre to train 111 trainees in aluminium fabrication, Hebrew language, computer literacy, computer-aided design (AUTO-CAD) and Windows Network (NT) installations.

186. Educational science faculties. The two educational science faculties at the Ramallah training centres accommodated 562 students, of whom 375 were women, in a four-year pre-service teacher-training programme offered at the post-secondary level. A total of 109 students, including 76 women, graduated from the two faculties in July 1999. The Agency decided not to introduce in-service training at the ESFs in the West Bank, because movement restrictions had prevented teachers from participating and the Palestinian Authority had not yet introduced an in-service programme to upgrade its teachers to the first university-degree level.

187. University scholarships. In 1999/00, 106 scholarships, 59 of which were held by women, were carried over from previous years.

188. Operational constraints. UNRWA’s education programme continued to be disrupted by restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, who cited security grounds. The restrictions affected freedom of movement, though to a lesser degree than in the previous reporting period. On several occasions, closures prevented Agency trainees, teachers and other education staff from reaching their places of work or training. The education programme was severely disrupted by shortages of teaching staff. Staff with West Bank identity cards occasionally faced difficulties in reaching the eight Agency schools in Jerusalem, especially during the internal closures. However, the disruptions were not significant enough to warrant extension of the school year.


B. Health


189. Primary care. Comprehensive primary health care was delivered to Palestine refugees in the West Bank through the Agency’s network of 34 primary health care facilities, all of which offered family planning services and special care for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, in addition to the full range of preventive and curative medical care services. Of the 34 facilities, 25 accommodated laboratories and 20 provided dental care, supported by a mobile dental unit for community oral health services. Six centres were equipped with radiological units, and six provided physiotherapy services. Plans were under way to construct, with project funds, new health centres to replace the unsatisfactory premises in Dheisheh and Balata camps.

190. Cooperation at the national level. The Agency was represented in all national health committees established by the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority, including the expanded programme on immunization, primary health care, reproductive health, brucellosis surveillance and control, tuberculosis control and health education. UNRWA staff participated in joint training activities initiated by the Agency, the Ministry of Health and/or non-governmental organizations. UNRWA also maintained close cooperation with local universities, international and local non-governmental organizations on various matters relevant to the development of the health care system and of human resources for health. The Ministry of Health provided in-kind donations of vaccine and cold-chain supplies. The non-governmental organizations Children International and Kata Loukan Medical Mission provided medical supplies, and local non-governmental organizations provided health educational material. The construction of a public health laboratory at Ramallah, planned in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, was completed and would, once fully equipped, serve as a referral facility for the full range of biochemical and bacteriological tests and for water and food safety.

191. Secondary care. In-patient care was provided through contractual arrangements with Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, St. John’s Ophthalmic Hospital, and other non-governmental organization hospitals in the West Bank, as well as directly by the Agency at its 43-bed hospital in Qalqiliya. Partial reimbursement was provided for expenses incurred by refugee patients at Maqassed Hospital, Jerusalem, for specialized care not readily available at the contracted hospitals, such as cardiac surgery. The Agency also reimbursed insurance premiums to cover cancer treatment for refugees holding West Bank identity cards. The level of co-payment for the cost of treatment was 25 per cent at contracted hospitals and 30 per cent through the reimbursement scheme. The Agency continued to pursue cost-efficiency measures by applying strict control on referrals to non-governmental organization hospitals in Jerusalem for tertiary care and by introducing a system of payment based on fee-for-procedure instead of fees per bed per day. The system of co-payment for patients treated at Qalqiliya hospital, which had been suspended since March 1998, resumed at the beginning of May 2000 as a result of the ongoing dialogue with the Palestinian Authority and local community. Against that background, a contract was awarded and work began for the construction and equipment of a 20-bed paediatric ward, radiology and physical rehabilitation units, and a nursing dormitory.

192. Operational constraints. UNRWA’s health programme continued to face serious difficulties in the West Bank as a result of movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, who, on security grounds, limited the number of travel permits issued to staff and Agency vehicles, which prevented staff from reaching their workplaces and restricted patient access to hospitals in Jerusalem. Similarly, sanitation services were disrupted in some instances, because garbage trucks could not reach camps. Although slightly improved after the opening of the “safe passage”, which allowed some Palestinians to travel on a designated route between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, continuing restrictions on travel between the two areas made coordination and information exchange difficult.


C. Relief and social services


193. Refugee registration. At 30 June 2000, there were 583,009 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in the West Bank, an increase of 2.3 per cent over the 569,741 refugees recorded at 30 June 1999. The rate of increase was less than that of the national population and reflected a tendency among refugee parents to delay the registration of newborn children or not to register them. The Registration Division continued its efforts to update refugees records and incorporate into the original refugee family file separate records of all succeeding nuclear families and descendants. It also initiated a study to check the status of people over 100 years of age still appearing on UNRWA records.

194. Special hardship programme. Enrolment in the special hardship programme was 28,132 as at 30 June 2000, representing 4.8 per cent of the registered refugee population in the West Bank, a slight decrease from 30 June 1999. Delays in the receipt of cash subsidies to poor refugees, together with stock shortages, caused difficulties for the refugee population. The shift to a paymaster method for the delivery of cash subsidies and food rations was welcomed and improved cash reconciliation and reporting. The Relief and Social Services Department (RSSD) continued to promote an integrated approach to addressing the needs of poor refugees in and outside camps. Through social case work, coordination and networking, the social workers and RSS staff aimed not only to meet basic family needs for food and shelter but also to address the problems that frequently underlie and compound poverty. A total of 35 school dropouts from poor families were returned to school, 32 drug addicts were placed under regular treatment, 10 refugee women joined literacy classes, and 555 women began seeking advice on family planning at UNRWA health centres.

195. Selective cash assistance. The fund was reinstated as of January 2000. A total of $20,000 was committed for assistance to 90 poor families. Assistance included basic household items, schooling for children, necessary clothing, accommodation and utilities and other emergency items. During the reporting period, $16,070 was disbursed to assist 73 poor families.

196. Shelter rehabilitation. No new donor funding was received during the period to help the neediest families improve their substandard shelters. However, work continued during the first half of the period to monitor 15 families finishing shelter rehabilitation work initiated during 1998 and carried out on a self-help basis. An estimated 150 shelters were on the waiting list for immediate intervention.

197. Emergency assistance. In-kind emergency assistance (tents, blankets, kitchen kits and food parcels) was provided to 28 families (184 persons) for losses incurred due to bad weather, fire and other incidents.

198. Poverty alleviation. The poverty-alleviation programme aimed to promote the income-generating capacity of poor refugees and enhance their self-reliance through capacity-building and provision of capital. The programme held around 30 awareness-raising sessions about poverty (its causes and alleviation) in coordination with the social centres in several camps and in association with Palestinian Authority departments, local non-governmental organizations and consultants. The activity included dissemination of information through leaflets and listings of other service providers. A total of 702 persons benefited from it. Although UNRWA’s budget deficit negatively affected the skills training/apprenticeship scheme of the programme, the Agency still offered training opportunities to 212 persons during the period in a variety of income-generating skills such as aluminium work, beautician skills, video recording, photography and photomontage, auto electronics and mechanics. Credit was extended to eight families during the period. The programme continued to organize and conduct training in “Start your own business” for 33 grass-roots organizations in camps and helped them to develop feasibility studies for income-generation projects. It also assisted 122 poor families to develop business ideas and feasibility studies. RSS staff participated in six national workshops on poverty, organized by Palestinian Authority departments, non-governmental organizations and consultants, and were trained in starting a business and measuring results.

199. Women in development. The women-in-development programme sought to empower women and promote their role in their families and local communities through participation in the women’s programme centres. As at 30 June 2000, there were 13 such centres in refugee camps and two outside camps. The centres represented the only venue for women’s activities in refugee camps. During the reporting period, they provided support services to working women through well-established kindergartens, nurseries and child day-care facilities. A new kindergarten was constructed by UNDP at the Fawwar centre, and a donation was received to establish another at Hebron. As at 30 June 2000, about 350 women and 327 children had benefited from these services. Skills training and income-generation activities were ongoing as well. Existing courses were expanded at several centres, and new ones established at others. Advanced technical training courses were initiated, including car-driving theory lessons, English, facial treatments, curtain making, physical fitness, photography and photomontage, computer studies, maintenance of sewing machines, styling and fashion. The activities provided income for the centres as well as employment and income-generation opportunities for women in camps (an annual average of 80 employment opportunities at the centres and several hundred others in homes). A total of 1,359 women graduated from skills training courses. Awareness-raising in developmental and social issues was organized by all centres on subjects such as women’s rights, civic education and democracy, gender, disability detection and prevention, early and interfamily marriage, pregnancy, breast feeding, family violence and abuse, violence against women, child care, school children and democracy, first aid, medical days, family planning, literacy training and food conservation. As at 30 June 2000, a total of 8,575 women had benefited from these activities. A variety of social, cultural and recreational activities were organized for women and girl children. Several centres continued to promote sports and cultural activities. The newly established Union of Women’s Centres assumed a strong coordinating and networking role with national women’s unions, committees, and non-governmental organizations and was able to attract support for several initiatives and projects. The Relief and Social Services Department (RSSD) played the role of an enabler and facilitator in supporting the centres, with the objective of turning them into totally community managed and sustainable non-governmental organizations. Financial assistance was also provided to the centres by RSSD through cash subsidies or grants for income-generation projects. Elections were held at four centres during the reporting period. As at 30 June 2000, 12 out of 15 centres had become community managed. The management of three others was still shared with the community, and four others were still run by UNRWA staff.

200. Community rehabilitation. The community rehabilitation programme promoted the inclusion of physically and mentally challenged refugees into the socio-economic life of their communities through community rehabilitation centres (CRC) in refugee camps. The CRCs were totally community managed, with two new ones established during the reporting period. With training and facilitation by RSSD staff, they carried out house-to-house surveys for a database on disabled children in the camps. During the reporting period, they provided basic rehabilitation services, with an emphasis on school mainstreaming and addressing various learning difficulties, special education, provision of prosthetic devices, awareness-raising, training for the families of disabled people, referrals to specialists, home modifications and outreach services. The toy libraries in six CRCs, enabling able-bodied and disabled children to play together, were valuable in helping to make a positive change in children’s attitudes towards disability. Coordination with the CRC programme in Jordan was further enhanced through joint summer camps and exchange of visits. The CRCs organized from two to three awareness activities in each location and distributed leaflets on disability and listings of service providers in the area. Special days for medical examinations and detection of disability were also organized. Some 880 persons attended or participated in these activities. Several CRCs participated in local endeavours for environmental conservation and assisting poor families. Furthermore, the CRCs contributed to national efforts to promote the rights of the disabled by joining other professionals to develop a law on the right of free mobility for the disabled and to devise a regulatory framework for the Ministry of Social Affairs on services for the disabled. In addition CRC staff participated in two conferences, organized by non-governmental organizations and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Social Affairs, for formulating a national strategy for disability in Palestine. RSSD acted as a facilitator to the CRCs, partially subsidizing their operating costs and providing management and leadership training. It also continued a pioneer initiative to train rehabilitation workers in speech therapy and helped six CRCs to establish basic units for the rehabilitation of children with speech difficulties. Social workers and programme officers provided technical advice and paid home visits to disabled people, offering to provide guidance and assistance. Recently, assistance for vocational rehabilitation services was initiated at RSSD. The overall goal of the work of the Department with the CRCs was to turn them into sustainable non-governmental organizations that could offer basic rehabilitation services in camps.

201. Youth activities. The youth activities centres in the West Bank continued to organize a wide range of activities for refugee youth and children: sports training and local and national championships, film shows, plays and puppet shows, competitions, book and photo exhibitions, remedial supplementary classes, honouring of distinguished students, and celebrations on national and international occasions. Two centres established computer training in their camps for school children. The centres organized seminars, workshops, lectures and public discussions on a variety of issues: refugees’ rights, the status of the refugee camps, the situation of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, public political discussions on civic rights and public accountability and other youth issues, life skills, combating vandalism, health education, HIV/AIDS and medical days, with the participation of professionals, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Palestinian Authority officials. They also maintained liaison with international counterparts and had exchange visits with them and contributed to the organization of two conferences on Palestinian youth and the new millennium. Several youth committees continued to participate in traditional reconciliation of inter-family disputes and offered social help to poor families and families of persons killed or detained as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They undertook community service, including clean-up campaigns, repair of camp roads and other infrastructure projects. Five secured external funding for reconstruction or expansion of their centres. The Relief and Social Services Department facilitated their activities and contributed to covering their costs. RSSD assisted with their human resource development and the institution-building of their centres through training. They also benefited from training opportunities made available through the Palestinian Authority and non-governmental organizations in leadership skills, planning, human rights and civic education.

Chapter IX

Gaza Strip


A. Education


202. Elementary and preparatory schooling. In the 1999/00 school year, UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip accommodated 169,424 pupils in 168 schools in the six-year elementary and three-year preparatory cycles. The increase of 9,532 pupils (6 per cent) over the preceding school year resulted from natural growth in the refugee population and the admission to Agency schools of some 1,050 children of newly arrived refugee families.

203. Education infrastructure. With nearly 50 pupils per classroom, the classroom occupancy rate in the Gaza field was the highest Agency-wide, and well above the 42 pupils/classroom average in Palestinian Authority schools. With project funds, UNRWA completed the construction of three schools to replace dilapidated ones. The construction of 22 classrooms at different schools was also completed. At mid-2000, two school buildings and six classrooms were under construction. Additional project funding for school construction in Gaza was one of the Agency’s top funding priorities, in view of the rapid growth in enrolment.

204. Vocational and technical training. The Gaza training centre accommodated 819 trainees, including 180 women, in 14 trade courses and eight technical/semi-professional courses. For the first time in five years, Israeli entry permits to the West Bank were issued to Gaza students who were enrolled in the Ramallah Education Sciences Faculty and other UNRWA training centres in the West Bank. Forty-five female students and 23 male students joined those centres.

205. University scholarships. In 1999/00, 147 scholarships, 97 of which were held by women, continued from previous years for students attending Middle East universities.


B. Health


206. Primary care. UNRWA remained one of the main providers of primary health care services to the population of the Gaza Strip, approximately two thirds of which were Palestine refugees. Those services were delivered through a network of 18 primary health care facilities, of which 14 offered a full range of medical services, including family planning and specialist care for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, 13 had laboratories, and 11 provided dental care, supported by three mobile dental units for community oral health care. Six had physiotherapy clinics and four were equipped with radiological units. Approximately one fifth of the total registered births in the Gaza Strip took place at six maternity units integrated into camp health centres. Specialist services in cardiology, chest diseases, gynaecology and obstetrics, ophthalmology and paediatrics were provided according to a weekly rotating schedule. The unique arrangement of a double-shift clinic at the health centres in the five largest camps was maintained since it proved to be the most cost-effective means to bridge the gap between the increasing needs of a rapidly growing population and limited Agency resources. Two newly constructed and equipped health centres which had been operated on a part-time basis began to operate full time, and a new clinic was established in Gaza town, utilizing the manpower previously assigned to the afternoon shift.

207. Secondary care. Hospital services were provided through a contractual agreement with an NGO hospital, Al-Ahli, where 50 beds were reserved for refugee patients, and through partial reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by refugees for treatment at Palestinian Authority hospitals. The contract for commissioning of the European Gaza Hospital was awarded to an international management team in June 1999. Subsequently, arrangements were made to transfer management authority for the hospital from UNRWA to the team, which was mobilized by the contractor, the European Commission. Since early July 1999, representatives of the team and the Agency have held a number of meetings to facilitate a smooth start-up of the team’s work and to prepare for the transfer of management authority. For this purpose, the Project Board established a working group comprising representatives from the European Commission, the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority, the management team and UNRWA. The terms of reference of the working group were to work out the practical modalities of the transfer. During the preparatory phase, a joint inspection of the hospital’s inventory was undertaken and the team presented its proposed schedule for the transfer process. The team also presented to the Project Board proposals for standing orders for the hospital, financial instructions, a business plan for 2000, a budget for 2000, an organizational structure, and a policy on special contracts. According to the proposed business plan, the first outpatients would be received on 15 July 2000, the first inpatients on 15 December 2000 and the hospital would become fully operational on 15 January 2001. In November 1999, representatives of the European Commission, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, the management team and UNRWA signed a “note for the record”, marking the completion of the process of transfer of management authority from UNRWA to the team, which assumed day-to-day management responsibility for the hospital until the end of phase I of its contract, provisionally envisaged as one year, in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 1997. Accordingly, control over the hospital land, building, fixtures, fittings and equipment was handed over to the team, along with the hospital keys. The Palestinian Authority assumed responsibility for costs associated with, and insurance of, the hospital, including fire and third-party insurance, and the cost of consumable supplies, electricity, water and telephone bills. When fully operational, the hospital’s bed complement was expected to be 291, including intensive care and antenatal care beds. The business plan envisaged that 290 staff would be recruited by 15 July 2000, rising to 843 by 15 January 2001.

208. Environmental health infrastructure. Environmental health projects included the upgrading of Gaza municipal pumping station No. 1 and construction of a sewerage and drainage system in the northern and southern sectors of Beach camp. Projects for the construction of a pressure main and phase I of a sewerage and drainage system at Deir el-Balah camp were completed in mid-1999. Works were still ongoing for the construction of a gravity main interceptor in the camp. Design works were completed for phase II of the project and for the main open drain in the middle area of the Gaza Strip. A contract was awarded for implementation of the Beach camp shore protection project. All those design and construction works were carried out through the special environmental health programme, which was established by the Agency in 1993 to improve environmental health conditions.

209. Cooperation at the national level. As in the West Bank, the Agency was represented in all national health committees of the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority, participated in national immunization days and jointly pursued a programme for the control of non-communicable diseases. The Agency continued to play a major role in sustaining the activities of the three-year expanded maternal health project, funded by the United Kingdom, which was completed in March 1999 and taken over by a project coordinating committee comprising the Ministry of Health, UNRWA and local non-governmental organizations. The open-learning material, which was developed in the context of this project, was circulated to the Agency’s other fields to enhance staff skills. The Agency maintained close contacts with the Ministry of Health to ensure the exchange of information and surveillance of an outbreak of post-BCG vaccinal lymphadentitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes) among infants vaccinated during the period from December 1999 to April 2000. The outbreak subsided when the incriminated batches of vaccine, supplied by the Ministry, were exhausted. A total of 57 infants were affected, out of 7,776 immunized; they were kept under close medical observation.


C. Relief and social services


210. Refugee registration. The number of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in the Gaza Strip increased from 798,444 as of 30 June 1999 to 824,622 as of 30 June 2000. Over 55 per cent of the refugees lived in the eight refugee camps in Gaza, the largest proportion of any field. The process of manual amalgamation of “ex-codes” for all refugee families which started in 1998 was in its final stage.

211. Special hardship programme. During the reporting period, the number receiving special hardship assistance rose by 4,386 beneficiaries, a 6.5 per cent increase. The total number of beneficiaries was 71,064 at the end of June 2000, representing approximately 8.6 per cent of the refugee population. To enhance staff skills, in-house training was conducted on time management, understanding drug addiction, lessons learned from audit observations on the special hardship case (SHC) programme, and the concept and practice of relief services instructions. Despite significant achievements, the SHC programme still faced some major constraints. Limited resources available to the Agency and to the Palestinian Authority prevented the implementation of major rehabilitation or development projects to reduce welfare dependency of those living in absolute poverty. The inability to provide selective cash assistance and shelter rehabilitation to the major number of SHC families still in need of this assistance (5,543 families) resulted in increasing health and psycho-social problems, which were costly to family and society. The high caseloads per social worker and insufficient transport facilities reduced social worker ability to work in depth with families and often decreased the effectiveness of interventions.

212. Shelter rehabilitation. A total of 163 shelters were rehabilitated through project funding, creating construction jobs in the process, encouraging community participation, providing cost-effective housing units, and greatly improving the quality of life for the families affected. An estimated 249 shelters were on the waiting list for immediate intervention.

213. Selective cash assistance. During the reporting period, a total of $86,311 was provided to 405 families to meet crisis needs.

214. Women in development. The second set of elections for the administrative boards took place in nine women’s programme centres. Three income-generation projects were funded by UNRWA, the first at the Khan Younis centre to build three shops for rent, the second at the Jabalia centre to construct a nursery and kindergarten, the third to build three shops at Beit Hanoun for rent. Three computer income-generation projects were funded at three centres and $77,000 was donated to the Khan Younis centre to construct a nursery and kindergarten. Training courses and workshops were conducted during the year to strengthen the role of administrative boards at the centres; seminars, lectures and workshops were conducted at all centres to raise community awareness of different subjects such as women’s rights, poverty, marriage issues, civic education, family planning, home economics, law, and refugee-related issues. Networking increased with local and international non-governmental organizations and Palestinian Authority ministries to arrange and conduct cultural and social activities at the centres. New programmes were implemented at all centres, to respond to the changing needs of women and children in the community. They included physical fitness courses, a library catering to children, computer courses, children’s clubs, and photography training courses.

215. Community rehabilitation. The seven community rehabilitation centres (CRC) raised community awareness of the needs and rights of people with disabilities, providing basic rehabilitation, referring people to specialists and assisting adults with disabilities to secure appropriate technical training and employment. In 1999 a total of 3,410 persons benefited. The disability programme, in coordination with CRCs, highlighted the home-visits programme and social integration activities. A total of 2,606 participants benefited from the comprehensive audiological services for the community and schools, library, computers, toys, child-to-child programme, community education and awareness programmes, sponsorship, family support and counselling. The disability programme continued to provide or subsidize the cost of prosthetic devices, wheelchairs and hearing aids and made contractual arrangements with various non-governmental organizations to provide services to 326 disabled persons. The programme also organized two workshops for families of disabled children and volunteers on sign language and the management of CRCs. The CRCs continued to cooperate closely with the Palestinian Authority and local and international non-governmental organizations to enhance community-based rehabilitation services, refer disabled persons to appropriate medical and rehabilitation services, provide specialized technical training in sign language and administration, and run summer camps for the disabled and other recreational activities.

216. Youth activities. Three income-generation projects were funded by UNRWA, the first at the Nuseirat youth activities centre, to build offices for rent; the second to build three shops for rent at the Rafah centre; and the third to covering the sports playground at the Jabalia centre. Donors funded the equipping of the gymnastic hall at the Maghazi centre and the construction of a gallery and sports hall at the Nuseirat centre. The eight centres continued to be the champions of most sports games in Gaza and the West Bank. Public meetings and lectures covered a wide range of topics, including the democratic process, environmental issues, drug abuse, health issues and the political situation. One-month summer camps took place at all eight centres during the summer vacation. Efforts were made to integrate women and young people with disabilities into centre activities. The centres continued to be involved in refugee committees to solve camp problems.

217. Rehabilitation centre for the visually impaired. Ongoing educational and rehabilitation activities at the rehabilitation centre for the visually impaired in Gaza town included vocational training, income-generation opportunities, Braille courses, home visits, outreach services and recreational activities. The centre provided teaching and visual aids to facilitate integration of 105 visually impaired children into the ordinary school system and to assist 40 visually impaired adults in finding jobs. The centre headed a campaign for early intervention on visual impairment at all schools in the Gaza Strip; hundreds of pupils came to the recently established low-vision unit for vision testing. A 10-day residential summer camp for 150 visually impaired and sighted children was held in July 1999. The Society of Friends of the rehabilitation centre for the visually impaired continued its financial support of the additional activities created to meet other needs of visually impaired children. The centre, as in the past, hosted a number of important community ceremonies. Thousands of people utilized the centre’s facilities on those occasions.

218. Canada camp. The gradual repatriation of refugees from Canada camp in the Sinai peninsula to the Gaza Strip continued within the framework of mutual agreement between the concerned authorities. Funding was given to 351 households to enable them to construct homes in the Tel el-Sultan housing project near Rafah. Additional funds are needed to enable full coverage of anticipated construction costs. With special contributions, the Agency channelled compensation money and assistance to those families completing final relocation to Rafah during a six-month settling-in period. Some 1,929 other Palestine refugees from the Gaza Strip remained displaced in and outside Canada camp. The Agency would continue to provide services, including food support, to the camp residents until the repatriation process was completed.


Notes

Annex I


Statistical and financial information tables



Contents
Page
1.Number of registered persons
50
2.Distribution of registered population
51
3.Number and distribution of special hardship cases
51
4.Basic education services
52
5.Vocational, technical and teacher-training services
53
6.Medical care services
54
7.Selected health status indicators for Palestine refugees
55
8.Social services programme
56
9.Actual expenditure in 1999, regular budget for 2000, and proposed biennial budget for 2001
57
10.Contributions in cash and in kind by Governments and the European Communit
58
11.Staff members arrested or detained
60
12.Agency staff
61
13.Income-generation programme
62


Table 1
Number of registered persons a/
(As of 30 June each year)

Field
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
Jordan
506 200
613 743
506 038
716 372
929 097
1 288 197
1 358 706
1 413 252
1 463 064
1 512 742
1 570 192
Lebanon
127 600
136 561
175 958
226 554
302 049
346 164
352 668
359 005
364 551
370 144
376 472
Syrian Arab Republic
82 194
115 043
158 717
209 362
280 731
337 308
347 391
356 739
365 805
374 521
383 199
West Bank b/
-
-
272 692
324 035
414 298
517 412
532 438
542 642
555 057
569 741
583 009
Gaza Strip
198 227
255 542
311 814
367 995
496 339
683 560
716 930
746 050
772 653
798 444
824 622
Total
914 221c/
1 120 889
1 425 219
1 844 318
2 422 514
3 172 641
3 308 133
3 417 688
3 521 130
3 625 592
3 737 494

a/ Figures are based on UNRWA registration records, which are updated continually. However, the number of registered refugees present in the Agency’s area of operations is almost certainly less than the population recorded.

b/ Until 1967, the West Bank of Jordan was administered as an integral part of the Jordan field.

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



Table 2
Distribution of registered population
(As at 30 June 2000)

Field
Registered population
Number of camps
Total camp population
Registered persons not in camps
Percentage of population not in camps
Jordan
1 570 192
10
280 191
1 290 001
82.16
Lebanon
376 472
12
210 715
165 757
44.02
Syrian Arab Republic
383 199
10
111 712
271 487
70.85
West Bank
583 009
19
157 676
425 333
72.95
Gaza
824 622
8
451 186
373 436
45.29
Total
3 737 494
59
1 211 480
2 526 014
67.58


Table 3
Number and distribution of special hardship cases
(As at 30 June 2000)

Number of persons
Field
Number of families
Receiving rations
Not receiving rations a/
Total
Percentage of refugee population
Jordan
10 700
38 397
2 444
40 841
2.60
Lebanon
10 138
36 991
3 528
40 519
10.76
Syrian Arab Republic
8 302
24 372
2 222
26 594
6.94
West Bank
8 030
23 771
4 361
28 132
4.83
Gaza Strip
16 419
69 472
1 592
71 064
48.62
Total
53 589
193 003
14 147
207 150
5.54

a/ Includes children under one year of age, students studying away from home etc.


Table 4
Basic education services a/
(As of October 1999)

Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank
Gaza Strip
Total/on average
Elementary pupils
86 509
30 516
43 273
39 167
127 148
326 613
Boys
43 431
15 415
22 138
17 078
65 255
163 317
Girls
43 078
15 101
21 135
22 089
61 893
163 296
Preparatory pupils
53 294
8 941
21 164
14 667
42 276
140 342
Boys
27 326
4 109
10 918
6 250
21 540
70 143
Girls
25 968
4 832
10 246
8 417
20 736
70 199
Secondary pupils
-
1 696
-
-
-
1 696
Boys
-
691
-
-
-
691
Girls
-
1 005
-
-
-
1 005
Total enrolment
139 803
41 153
64 437
53 824
169 424
468 651
    Boys
70 757
20 215
33 056
23 328
86 795
234 151
    Girls
69 046
20 938
31 381
30 506
82 629
234 500
Percentage of girls
49.4
50.9
48.7
56.7
48.8
50.0
Percentage of total Agency-wide enrolment in each field
29.8
8.8
13.7
11.5
36.2
100.0
Percentage increase in total enrolment over previous year
(1.0)
0.8
(0.6)
3.6
6.0
2.2
Administrative schools
192
74
110
96
168
640
Elementary
64
36
60
26
121
307
Preparatory
128
35
50
70
47
330
Secondary
-
3
-
-
-
3
Percentage of administrative schools on double shifts
92.7
37.8
93.6
32.3
72.6
72.2
Percentage of administrative schools in rented premises
22.4
39.2
8.2
17.7
0.0
15.3
School buildings
103
60
61
88
111
423
Rented school buildings
24
23
7
17
-
71
Classroom occupancy rate
41.0
39.5
44.0
38.2
49.9
43.7
Percentage of class sections containing 48 pupils or more
18.4
18.1
28.6
4.6
83.5
38.6
University scholarships awarded
164
84
172
106
147
673
Percentage of female scholars
37.2
32.1
35.5
55.7
66.0
45.3
Teachers
4 175
1 353.5
1 746
1 709
4 396
13 379.5
In-service teacher trainees b/
178
49
103
121
97
548
a/ Enrolment figures exclude an estimated 173,096 refugee pupils attending government and private elementary and preparatory schools and 67,100 refugee students attending government and private secondary schools; they include 48,508 non-refugee children attending UNRWA schools (elementary, preparatory and secondary).

b/ Participants in the regular in-service training programme (not including the Education Science Faculty) during the 1999/00 school year.


Table 5
Vocational, technical and teacher-training services
(Actual enrolment in 1999/00 academic year as of December 1999)

JordanLebanonSyrian Arab RepublicWest BankGaza Strip
Amman Training CentreWadi Seer Training CentreSiblin Training CentreDamascus Training CentreKalandia Training CentreRamallah Women's Training Ctr.Ramallah Men's Training Ctr.Gaza Training CentreSubtotal
MFMFMFMFMFMFMFMFMFGrand Total
Vocational & technical training
Vocational training a/
-
68
542
339
43
482
-
466
-
-
83
-
-
593
-
2 422
194
2616
Technical training b/
51
319
161
87
155
82
131
169
61
-
-
399
141
37
46
180
746
1 273
2019
Total trainees
51
387
703
87
494
125
613
169
527
-
-
482
141
37
639
180
3 168
1 467
4635
Teacher training
Educational sciences
Faculty pre- service c/
44
265
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
328
187
47
-
-
231
640
871
Educational sciences
Faculty in- services d/
172
235
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
172
235
407
Other pre- service e/
-
-
-
-
30
75
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
30
75
105
Total teachers
216
500
-
-
30
75
-
-
-
-
-
328
187
47
-
-
433
950
1383
Grand total
267
887
703
87
524
200
613
169
527
-
-
810
328
84
639
180
3 601
2 417
6018
a/ Two-year post-preparatory courses in a variety of building, electrical, electronic, mechanical and metalworking trades.
b/ Two-year post-secondary courses in a variety of technical, paramedical and commercial skills.
c/ Four-year post-secondary course leading to a first university degree.
d/ Three-year course for two-year diploma holders leading to a first university degree.
e/ Two-year post-secondary course leading to a two-year teaching diploma.
Table 6
Medical care services
(1 July 1999-30 June 2000)

Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank
Gaza Strip
Total
Out-patient care
Primary health care facilities
23
25
23
34
18
123
Services offered at the primary level
Dental care
17
17
13
21
14
82
Family planning
23
25
23
34
18
123
Non-communicable diseases care
17
25
23
34
14
113
Specialist services
13
15
15
20
13
76
Laboratories
21
15
19
25
14
94
Patient visits
Medical treatment a/
1 773 060
805 853
944 321
964 863
2 305 605
6 793 702
Dental treatment
179 210
77 550
67 302
60 937
134 285
519 284
In-patient (hospital) care b/
Patients admitted
6 623
14 501
5 097
13 656
6 434
46 311
Patient days
23 310
41 029
10 950
44 909
18 042
138 240
Maternal and child health care
Pregnant women newly registered
20 618
4 632
7 688
10 753
26 570
70 261
Infants under age 1 newly registered
26 263
4 579
7 844
11 126
24 916
74 728
Children age 0-3 under supervision
75 451
13 257
22 233
31 767
70 551
213 259
New family planning acceptors
6 202
2 148
3 838
2 874
6 079
21 137
Total family planning acceptors c/
17 807
8 058
11 483
11 158
26 913
75 419
Expanded programme of immunization d/
Triple (DPT) vaccine
25 238
4 270
7 448
10 891
25 059
72 906
Polio vaccine
25 555
4 283
7 598
10 852
25 129
73 417
BCG vaccine
25 895
4 567
6 245
8 948
24 899
70 554
Measles vaccine
25 299
4 140
7 534
10 177
23 710
70 860
Hepatitis B vaccine
25 559
4 418
8 023
10 618
26 662
75 280
MMR vaccine e/
23 594
4 381
7 609
10 387
24 088
70 059
School health
School entrants examined
16 051
4 010
7 556
5 719
21 904
55 240
Booster vaccinations
28 271
15 474
13 167
9 856
33 667
100 435

a/ Including visits for medical consultations, injections and dressings.
b/ With the exception of a 43-bed hospital run by UNRWA at Qalqilia in the West Bank, hospital services are provided through contractual agreements with non-governmental and private hospitals or through partial reimbursement of treatment costs.
c/ Total number remaining under supervision on 30 June 2000.
d/ Number of infants receiving full primary series.
e/ Immunization at 15 months of age.


Table 7
Selected health status indicators for Palestine refugees
Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank
Gaza Strip
Reference year
Women of reproductive age 15-49 years (per cent)
24.1
25.8
25.3
23.9
21
2000
Population < 15 years (per cent)
32.5
28.1
32.4
32
43.4
2000
Crude birth rate (Country data)
34
24.6
33
33.7
35.6
1998
Neo-natal mortality rate per 1,000 live births
22
26
20
NA
20
1997
Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births
32
35
29
NA
33
1997
Early childhood mortality rate per 1,000 live births
35
37
32
NA
36
1997
Mean marital age
19.7
19.6
20.0
19.1
18.5
1995
Modern contraceptive prevalence (per cent)
34.7
50.1
46.7
33.5
23.7
1995
Birth interval:
Per cent 12 months
3.3
2.7
2.8
3.3
5.5
1995
Per cent 24 months
43.9
34.9
37.6
47.9
53.2
1995
Mean birth interval (months)
31.0
36.7
37.3
29.4
26.6
1995
Average daily consultation per medical officer
105
91
98
100
105
1999
Deliveries attended by trained personnel (per cent)
96.9
91.9
83.7
95.5
98.7
2000
Prevalence of anaemia
(a) Children below 3 years
35.9
29.6
28.0
49.7
74.9
1998
(b) Women of reproductive age
32.1
28.6
27.0
35.5
44.7
1999
Pregnant women immunized against tetanus (per cent)
97.6
99.6
97
98.1
97.9
1999
Incidence of low birth rate among surviving infant (per cent)
6.7
3.5
6.8
5.0
3.6
1999
Prevalence of diabetes mellitus among registered refugees age 40 and above (per cent)
4.2
4.1
5.1
4.1
6.9
1999
Prevalence of hypertension among registered refugees age 40 and above (per cent)
5.1
7.2
5.8
5.1
9.1
1999
Camp shelters with access to safe water (per cent)
98
96
85
100
100
2000
Camp shelters with access to sewerage facilities (per cent)
78
58
87
66
59
2000


Table 8
Social services programme
(1 July 1999-30 June 2000)

Support for disabled persons
Community-based rehabilitation
Specialized faci- lities
Grant-based
projects
Loan-based
projects
Group-guaranteed lending schemes
Skill-training and production units b/
Women's programme
Youth
activities
Centres/ programmes
Participants a/
Field
Centres
Participants
Centres
Participants
Centre activities
Outreach activities
Referrals
No.
$
No.
$
Participants
$
No.
Participants
Jordan
21
5 500
-
-
10
772
1 250
200
57
149 802
36
136 189
13
13 125
3 c/
125
Lebanon
10 d/
2 938
1
2 364
1 e/
65
1 890
874
23
100 045
79
291 670
110
31 500
15
42
Syrian Arab Republic
15
4 500
-
-
5
650
93
1
2
3 728
66
80 250
464
140 972
11
300
West Bank
15
8 575
18
9 320
12 f/
2 495
1 312
742
-
-
8
8 500
-
-
2 g/
242
Gaza
10
6 628
8
6 607
7
1 013 h/
4 428
225
7
70 575
-
-
-
-
1
500
Total
71
28 141
27
18 291
35
4 995
8 973
2 042
89
324 150
189
516 609
587
185 597
32
1 209
a/ Including disabled persons assisted through home-based activities, mainstreaming into educational and special vocational training programmes, job placement, self-support projects, provision of prosthetic devices and other aids, and cash assistance.
b/ Including enterprises associated with women’s programme centres and community rehabilitation centres, and in the West Bank, apprentices placed with local employers.
c/ Marka and Wihdat were converted to women programme centres/kindergartens, according to community needs.
d/ Burj Hammoud women programme centres reactivated in September 1999.
e/ In Lebanon one community-based rehabilitation programme, managed by one committee, operated through two physical locations in Nahr el-Bared camp.
f/ In the West Bank, three community rehabilitation centres, Nur Shams, Amari, and Fara’a, received technical support only and no subsidy from UNRWA.
g/ In the West Bank, Arroub Carpentry Centre was closed down due to lack of participants.
h/ Including 330 at the Al-Nour Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired in Gaza.


Table 9
Actual expenditure in 1999, regular budget for 2000, and proposed biennial budget for 2001
(Cash and in kind, millions of United States dollars)


Budgeted expenditure, 2000
Actual expenditure 1999
Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank
Gaza Strip
Headquarters
Total
Budgeted expenditure, 2001
Education
154.9
50.0
23.0
11.3
25.2
50.4
1.8
161.7
166.7
Health
50.2
10.8
9.0
4.6
12.1
16.1
0.6
53.3
54.4
Relief & social services
27.6
5.6
5.9
3.2
4.8
10.9
0.7
31.1
31.4
Operational services a/
19.2
2.0
2.4
1.4
2.8
4.5
2.1
15.3
15.2
Common services b/
21.3
2.3
3.2
1.2
3.4
3.3
26.0
39.5
42.8
Total, regular budget
273.2
70.7
43.5
21.7
48.4
85.4
31.2
300.9
310.4


Table 10
Contributions in cash and in kind by Governments and the European Community
(1 January 1999-31 December 1999)
(Actual receipts, United States dollars)


1999 contributions
Total 1998 contributions
Regular budget
Projects
Total
Australia
2 359 930
1 696 680
-
1 696 680
Austria
460 000
357 000
-
357 000
Belgium
2 169 001
688 663
47 710
736 373
Brazil
50 000
-
-
Brunei Darussalam
10 000
10 000
-
10 000
Canada
8 456 665
9 570 105
497 306
10 067 411
Chile
10 000
-
-
China
59 970
60 000
-
60 000
Colombia
2 500
2 585
-
2 585
Cyprus
10 000
10 000
-
10 000
Czech Republic
16 535
29 401
-
29 401
Denmark
7 971 014
8 684 420
246 711
8 931 131
Egypt
10 000
10 000
-
10 000
Finland
2 012 809
1 952 570
-
1 952 570
France
2 394 128
4 453 432
125 960
4 579 392
Germany
8 557 397
5 037 264
3 494 591
8 531 855
Greece
300 000
400 000
-
400 000
Holy See
-
-
20 000
20 000
Iceland
319 043
-
-
India
5 248
5 237
-
5 237
Indonesia
25 000
-
-
Ireland
565 040
539 600
-
539 600
Italy
4 481 538
3 241 361
304 604
3 545 965
Japan
18 516 588
25 617 142
-
25 617 142
Jordan
-
168 000
-
168 000
Kuwait
1 500 000
1 500 000
1 137 205
2 637 205
Lebanon
7 875
7 980
-
7 980
Luxembourg
396 934
218 649
1 000 000
1 218 649
Malaysia
20 000
20 000
-
20 000
Maldives
1 000
1 000
-
1 000
Malta
3 044
-
-
Mexico
-
3 000
-
3 000
Monaco
20 295
5 290
-
-5 290
Netherlands
7 415 430
8 342 459
2 510 805
10 853 264
New Zealand
115 000
106 960
-
106 960
Norway
13 150 887
13 037 110
-
13 037 110
Oman
25 000
25 000
-
25 000
Palestine
685 278
964 394
-
964 394
Philippines
1 250
-
-
Portugal
25 000
25 000
-
25 000
Republic of Korea
75 000
50 000
-
50 000
Saudi Arabia
4 984 287
3 600 000
4 223 585
7 823 585
Singapore
3 000
-
-
South Africa
20 100
15 178
-
15 178
Spain
5 328 719
2 602 479
562 692
3 165 171
Sweden
18 239 715
18 145 515
104 571
18 250 086
Switzerland
3 311 258
7 346 083
175 815
7 521 898
Syrian Arab Republic
48 494
46 422
-
46 422
Thailand
-
30 000
-
30 000
Tunisia
-
11 286
-
11 286
Turkey
200 000
125 000
12 185
137 185
United Arab Emirates
-
1 000 000
99 975
1 099 975
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
13 768 175
12 943 551
64 298
13 007 849
United States of America
80 411 986
78 098 500
2 762 970
80 861 470
Venezuela
614
-
-
Subtotal
208 520 747
210 804 316
17 390 983
228 195 299
European Community
50 383 559
62 839 599
1 067 273
63 906 872
Grand total
258 904 306
273 643 915
18 458 256
63 906 872
Table 11
Staff members arrested or detained
(1 July 1999-30 June 2000)
West Bank
Gaza Strip
Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
Detained by Israeli authorities
Detained by Palestinian authorities
Detained by Israeli authorities
Detained by Palestinian authorities
Total
Released without charge or trial
10
3
2
3
5
-
20
43
Charged/tried/sentenced and/or acquitted
-
-
-
-
-
-
1a/
1
Still in detention on 30 June 2000
1
2
3
-
-
-
5 b/
11
Total
11
5
5
3
5
0
26
55
a/ The staff member was charged and then released on bail, awaiting trial.
b/ One staff member has been detained without charge since the commencement of the reporting period and two without charge since 1996.


Table 12
Agency staff
(On 30 June 2000)

Programme
Jordan
Lebanon
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank
Gaza
Headquarters (Amman)
Headquarters (Gaza)
Total
Education
4, 569
1 530
2 024
2 161
4 809
57
--
15 150
Health
791
512
415
636
936
13
--
3 303
RSS
99
80
61
103
181
12
--
563
Other
222
294
231
401
591
107
127
1 973
Total, area staff
5 681
2 416
2731
3 301
6 517
189
127
20 962
Total, international staff
5
6
5
9
6
25
42
98
Total staff
5 686
2 422
2 736
3 310
6 523
214
169
21 060


Table 13
Income-generation programme
(1 July 1999-30 June 2000)

West Bank
Gaza Strip
Small-scale enterprise subprogramme
(SSE)
Miicroenterprise credit subprogramme a/
(MEC)
Solidarity-group lending subprogramme
(SGL)
Microenterprise credit subprogramme
(MEC)
Small-scale enterprise subprogramme
(SSE)
Total
Number of loans issued
28
2 710
3 247
47
157
Value of loans issued ($)
300 000
2 755 932
2 801 850
54
1 983 700
Capital base ($) b/
1 724 296
687 500 c/
4 046 814 d/
0
7 930 129
Overall recovery rate (%) e/
93
95
98.55 f/
95.74 g/
95.16
a/ Launched in April 1998.
b/ On 30 June 1999.
c/ Capital borrowed from other income-generation subprogrammes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
d/ Shared capital base for the Solidarity-group lending subprogramme (SGL) and the microenterprise credit subprogramme (MEC).
e/ Percentage over the life of the programme to 30 June 1999.
f/ g/ Recovery rate in the United States dollar portfolio for SGL and MEC when lending under the income-generation subprogramme switched from use of Israeli shekels to United States dollars in January 1999.


Annex II


Pertinent records of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies


1. General Assembly resolutions


Resolution numberDate of adoptionResolution numberDate of adoption
194 (III)11 December 19482953 (XXVII)13 December 1972
212 (III)19 November 19483089 A to E (XXVIII)7 December 1972
302 (IV)8 December 19493090 (XXVIII)7 December 1973
393 (V)2 December 19503330 (XXIX)17 December 1974
513 (VI)26 January 19523331 (XXIX) A to D17 December 1974
614 (VII)6 November 19523419 (XXX) A to D8 December 1975
720 (VIII)27 November 195331/15 A to E23 November 1976
818 (IX)4 December 195432/90 A to F13 December 1977
916 (X)3 December 195533/112 A to F18 December 1978
1018 (XI)28 February 195734/52 A to F23 November 1979
1191 (XII)12 December 195735/13 A to F3 November 1980
1315 (XIII)12 December 195836/146 A to H16 December 1981
1456 (XIV)9 December 195937/120 A to K16 December 1982
1604 (XV)21 April 196138/83 A to K15 December 1983
1725 (XVI)20 December 196139/99 A to K14 December 1984
1856 (XVII)20 December 196240/165 A to K16 December 1985
1912 (XVIII)3 December 196341/69 A to K3 December 1986
2002 (XIX)10 February 196542/69 A to K2 December 1987
2052 (XX)15 December 196543/57 A to J6 December 1988
2154 (XXI)17 November 196644/47 A to K8 December 1989
2252 (ES-V)4 July 196745/73 A to K11 December 1990
2341 (XXII) A and B 19 December 196746/46 A to K9 December 1991
2452 (XXIII) A to C19 December 196847/69 A to K14 December 1992
2535 (XXIV) A to C10 December 196948/40 A to J10 December 1993
2656 (XXV)7 December 197049/21 B2 December 1994
2972 (XXV) A to D8 December 197049/35 A to G9 December 1994
2728 (XXV)15 December 197049/21 O21 April 1995
2791 (XXVI)6 December 197150/28 A to G6 December 1995
2792 A to E (XXVI)6 December 197151/124 to 51/13013 December 1996
2963 A to E (XXVII)13 December 197252/57 to 52/6310 December 1997
53/46 to 53/523 December 1998
54/69 to 54/7515 December 1999



1. General Assembly decisions


      Decision number
          Date of adoption
      36/462
          16 March 1982
      48/417
          10 December 1993



3. Reports of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA

    1996
Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/51/13)
    1997
Ibid., Fifty-second Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/52/13 and Add.1)
    1998
Ibid., Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13)
    1999
Ibid., Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1)


4. Financial reports and audited financial statements (biennial)

    1996
Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session, Supplement No. 5C (A/51/5/Add.3)
    1998
Ibid., Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 5C (A/53/5/Add.3)


5. Reports of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine


    1996
                A/51/439
    1997
                A/52/311
    1998
                A/53/518
    1999
                A/54/338


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



    1996
                A/51/509
    1997
                A/52/578
    1998
                A/53/569
    1999
                A/54/477



7. Reports of the Secretary-General


    1996
Reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 50/28 C, D, F and G of 6 December 1995, respectively:
SymbolTitle
A/51/369Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
A/51/370Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees
A/51/371Revenues derived from Palestine refugees’ properties
A/51/476University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees
    1997
Reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 51/126, 127, 129 and 130 of 13 December 1996, respectively:
SymbolTitle
A/52/423Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
A/52/415Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees
A/52/372Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues
A/52/503University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees
    1998
Reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 52/59, 60, 62 and 63 of 10 December 1997, respectively:
SymbolTitle
A/53/471Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
A/53/472Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees
A/53/644Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues
A/53/551University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees
    1999
Reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 53/48, 49, 51 and 52 of 3 December 1998, respectively:
SymbolTitle
A/54/377Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
A/54/376Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees
A/54/345Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues
A/54/385University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees



8. Notes by the Secretary-General


    1996
SymbolTitle
A/51/495Note by the Secretary-General and annexed special report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East on the financial crisis of the Agency



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