Question of Palestine home
6 October 1950
TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
INTERIM REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR
OF THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY
FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
OFFICIAL RECORDS : FIFTH SESSION
SUPPLEMENT No. 19 (A/1451/Rev.1)
New York, 1951
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
Paris, 6 October 1950
Paragraph 7 of resolution 302 (IV) dated 8 December 1949 authorized the establishment of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWAPRNE):
) To carry out in collaboration with local governments the direct relief and works programmes as recommended by the Economic Survey Mission;
) To consult with the interested Near Eastern governments concerning measures to be taken by them preparatory to the time when international assistance for relief and works projects is no longer available.
The interim report submitted herewith is divided into two parts. The first part, prepared by the Director, deals with the implementation of the programme of UNRWAPRNE to date. The second part, jointly prepared and unanimously agreed to by the members of the Advisory Commission and the Director, comments on current conditions and makes recommendations for the future.
) Howard KENNEDY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Inauguration of programme
Recommendations of the Advisory Commission and the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWAPRNE)
List of voluntary agencies co-operating with UNRWAPRNE as of 23 September 1950
Cash supplies, accounts receivable and payable and other assets and liabilities taken over from the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees on 1 May 1950
Recapitulation concerning contributions in cash and kind promised to 30 June 1951 and received to 31 August 1950
Expenses for the period 1 January-31 August 1950 and projection to 30 June 1951
Financial statement for the period 1 May-31 August 1950
1. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East took over its field duties on 1 May 1950. The present report covers the ensuing period to 15 September. The Agency therefore has had roughly five months of active life in which to develop its programme and test its methods as well as prepare recommendations as to future operations in the Near East.
2. The Agency's work has been devoted to five main fields:
(1) Reorganization of administration carried on by the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees with the three voluntary agencies;
(2) Visits to Near East governments:
) An initial round of visits to meet the governments and to discuss the immediate programme of the Agency;
) A second round of visits to discuss continuation of the programme in the future;
(3) Negotiations at different levels with governments and government officials concerning works projects;
(4) Commencement of works projects and administration of relief programme;
(5) Preparation of the report for the General Assembly.
3. Tribute is paid to the staff of the Agency, both at headquarters and in the field, for their unremitting application to duty. Without co-operation of the nature received, it would have been impossible to carry on a relief programme in five countries and make a start on a works programme in three of them.
4. With the ending of the British Mandate war broke out in Israel. By July 1948, more than half a million refugees were drifting aimlessly and hopelessly in the neighbouring Arab States, and the bitterness engendered threatened to destroy any hope that the work of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine could be carried out successfully. The Arab nations themselves fed and cared for refugees of Arab nationality in the early months, but the problem was too great for their limited resources. The Mediator appealed to all nations for assistance for the refugees on humanitarian grounds. By August, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had made a substantial contribution in money, and its personnel was in the field during the following month. The Mediator then established a disaster relief project and available supplies were distributed by many voluntary agencies which performed an outstanding service to humanity.
5. It was soon observed that co-ordination of relief activities was necessary because of the magnitude of the task, so the General Assembly, in resolution
adopted on 19 November 1948, set up the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees (UNRPR) as an Agency to do this in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the League of the Red Cross Societies (LRCS) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). The three last named organizations undertook to carry out the distribution of relief supplies procured by the United Nations for the refugees, then estimated at 700,000. UNICEF continued its supply of food and medicine to children and pregnant mothers, UNRPR being responsible for distribution. These several organizations carried out a splendid work, about which the world knows all too little, until it was handed over to UNRWAPRNE on 1 May 1950. Suffice it to say that in spite of all the difficulties and frustrations experienced, refugees in hundreds of thousands were fed, clothed and housed without serious physical deterioration or the incidence of epidemics. Many other voluntary groups have assisted, and continue to assist, in feeding and caring for the refugees. The number of such organizations is too great to permit of their separate mention, but their noble effort is publicly acknowledged and grateful appreciation expressed herewith. A list of them, possibly incomplete, is set out in appendix 1.
6. When UNRPR was set up by the General Assembly, it was presumably with the idea that the problem would be resolved in a matter of months. During the summer of 1949 it became obvious that some other approach was needed, and the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East was dispatched to study and report on conditions and to make recommendations concerning future activity. After three months of exhaustive study in the field, the Mission's interim report to the General Assembly in November 1949[sp,sm:1] recommended the creation of a new agency, which would not only carry out relief on a diminishing scale, but would inaugurate a works programme in which able-bodied refugees could become self-supporting and at the same time create works of lasting benefit to the refugees and the countries concerned. The recommendations of the report were embodied in resolution
which provided for the setting up of UNRWAPRNE. The final report signed in Paris in December covered the subject comprehensively and has been accepted by the Agency as its guide.
7. While the Economic Survey Mission anticipated the setting up of UNRWAPRNE in January, unforeseen circumstances prevented its organization until April 1950. It therefore assumed its field duties only on 1 May, some months behind its schedule. When the Agency assumed responsibility in the field it was evident that the numbers classed as refugees (over 950,000) vastly exceeded the numbers estimated by the Economic Survey Mission (751,000). This difference was the result of different approaches to the problems. The figure of the Economic Survey Mission was obtained from mathematical calculations, while the numbers on ration lists were compiled by voluntary agencies dealing with hundreds of thousands of hungry people claiming need.
INAUGURATION OF PROGRAMME
8. At its first official meeting in Geneva during the week beginning 17 April 1950, the members of the Advisory Commission met and discussed their mutual problems with the following United Nations organizations:
World Health Organization, International Refugee Organization, International Labour Organisation, United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, and with the President and officers of the League of Red Cross Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Informal discussions by some members of the Advisory Commission and the Director had already taken place with FAO, UNESCO, UNICEF and many of the voluntary agencies. Cordial and effective co-operation was extended by all these groups and satisfactory working arrangements provided for. It is a pleasure to record that no serious difficulty has been met in implementing these working arrangements.
VISITS TO GOVERNMENTS
9. Immediately after arrival in Beirut the Agency set up its headquarters in part of the UNESCO building, which was hospitably made available by the Lebanese Government in the same spirit of co-operation which it had formally shown to UNRPR. Arrangements were undertaken for a series of visits by members of the Advisory Commission and the Director to the governments of the various countries involved, namely: Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel, in that order. These visits were not merely courtesy calls, but each government was asked to set up machinery for liaison with the Board, and it was pointed out that the success of the Agency's efforts would depend on the extent of their co-operation in its programme. A cordial reception was accorded the Agency in all capitals, though it was evident that its motives and possibilities were generally not clearly appreciated and in some instances were even under suspicion. However, following the round of visits, personnel was appointed to act in liaison with the Advisory Commission, except in the case of Saudi Arabia. In Syria, action was considerably delayed due to the resignation of the government toward the end of May and the subsequent appointment of a new cabinet. However, effective co-operation was later established in this instance.
10. The following countries have nominated technical committees to deal with the Agency concerning works projects:
Lebanon: Committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Jordan: Committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Public Works.
Syria: Committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Public Works.
Israel: Committee under the chairmanship of the Director-General of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Egypt has appointed its Director of Administration in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to serve as liaison officer with the Agency, and Iraq has appointed its Minister in Beirut to carry out similar duties.
DEVELOPMENT OF RULES OF PROCEDURE AND ORGANIZATION
11. During the final week of April and in the month of May, a tremendous administrative reorganization was carried out and rules of procedure and organization developed. This was necessary because of the fusing of the work of the three voluntary agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Red Cross Societies and the American Friends Service Committee, each an autonomous unit, with that formerly carried out by UNRPR and making the staff transfers and reductions inherent to such action. That it was possible to complete this work on schedule and at the same time avoid any serious dislocation of services, is a splendid tribute to the co-operative spirit of all concerned. International administrative personnel has been reduced from 264 to 117 by substitution of Palestine refugees wherever it has been possible to do so. The reduction in international personnel has been even greater than the above figures indicate because of the necessity of employment of technical personnel not available locally for the works programme. At the same time, it was necessary to develop rules of procedure and instructions to standardize action in all areas, a condition which could not be achieved under the four autonomous bodies previously concerned in relief measures. The items involved matters of transport, definition of the word "refugee", administration and financing, and a host of minor problems.
12. Despite the new set of conditions arising after 30 April, all essential services were provided for refugees and, although food deliveries were late in some instances, delays were mainly due to the tardy provision of money to the Agency for the purchase of food rather than to any breakdown in the field services under the new conditions. Camps involving some 30,000 relief recipients (roughly 3 per cent of the total) called food strikes on the pretext that the Agency was a tool of capitalist governments, but well before the end of the month all of the refugees settled down and accepted their rations at the normal distribution period.
REFUGEES IN ARAB COUNTRIES
13. An accurate statement of the number of genuine refugees resulting from the war in Palestine is unlikely to be provided now or in the future. In fact, it is almost impossible to define closely the word "refugee," as applied to the work of the Agency, without leaving certain groups of deserving people outside those accepted, or conversely, including groups who probably should not be in receipt of relief.
14. The Agency has steadfastly resisted persistent and persuasive efforts to have it become responsible for the care and feeding of citizens of the various countries who are merely needy or destitute as a result of the war in Palestine. It has taken the stand that its funds were not provided for that purpose and should be applied only to relief and works for genuine refugees. If the needy, assumed to number more than 150,000, were added to the Agency's burden, little money would be left to apply to works projects. Many of the needy are now actually in poorer circumstances than the average refugee because the latter receives food, medical care and some clothing, little of which is available to the non-refugee. Appeals have been made by the Agency to voluntary organizations to feed and clothe the needy who are not entitled to be classified as refugees.
DEFINITION OF A REFUGEE
15. For working purposes, the Agency has decided that a refugee is a needy person, who, as a result of the war in Palestine, has lost his home and his means of livelihood. A large measure of flexibility in the interpretation of the above definition is accorded to chief district officers to meet the many border-line cases which inevitably arise. In some circumstances, a family may have lost part or all of its land from which its living was secured, but it may still have a house to live in. Others may have lived on one side of the boundary but worked in what is now Israel most of the year. Others, such as Bedouins, normally moved from one area of the country to another, and some escaped with part or all of their goods but cannot return to the area where they formerly resided the greater part of the time. These examples give an idea of the varying conditions that must be met in administering the relief programme.
NUMBERS OF REFUGEES
16. The Agency has accepted as realistic the figures set forth in appendix B of the first interim report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission, but recognizes that the numbers have increased in conformity with the extremely high birthrate of the refugees. There is reason to believe that births are always registered for ration purposes, but deaths are often, if not usually, concealed so that the family may continue to collect rations for the deceased. It also is evident that many of the 99,000 mentioned in the above report as "in gainful employment" are now on rations. It is unlikely that numbers will be reduced below 800,000, and it is possible that that number may be exceeded.
17. The Gaza area, having a highly concentrated refugee population housed mainly in camps and under military control by the Egyptian army, is probably the nearest to correct in its figures concerning the numbers of refugees. At 1 August 199,000 were registered. Syria, with the smallest number of refugees on rations, is next in accuracy, with 82,000 registered. The figures for Lebanon (128,000) are confused due to the fact that many Lebanese nationals along the Palestinian frontier habitually worked most of the year on the farms or in the citrus groves of Palestine. With the advent of war they came back across the border and claimed status as refugees. Only an exhaustive and expensive census, now under way although ardently opposed by those concerned, will divide worthy from false claimants.
18. The former Trans-Jordan and the portion of Palestine remaining in Arab hands and now annexed to the Hashimite Kingdom of the Jordan received the greatest influx of refugees of any of the countries adjacent to Israel -- probably more than half of all the refugees. For various reasons, the largest number of fictitious names on the ration lists pertain to refugees in this area. All earlier attempts at a close census of those entitled to relief have been frustrated, but a comprehensive survey, now under way, is achieving worthwhile results in casting up names of dead people for which rations are still drawn, fraudulent claims regarding numbers of dependents (it is alleged that it is a common practice for refugees to hire children from other families at census time), and in eliminating duplications where families have two or more ration cards. The census, though stubbornly resisted, will eliminate many thousands from the lists of refugees now in receipt of rations. The number on lists in Jordan at 31 August was 485,000 with 430,000 rations distributed.
19. Unauthorized movement between camps, and sometimes across international boundaries, as well as deep-rooted reluctance of refugees to reveal personal information to census-takers, make it very difficult to obtain accurate statistics concerning them.
REFUGEE LIVING CONDITIONS
20. It would be necessary to visit refugee encampments or improvised quarters, such as old mosques, schools, abandoned barracks or other old buildings, really to appreciate the desperate situation in which these poor unfortunates find themselves. Generally speaking, their clothing and the few household articles they were able to bring with them have reached or are beyond the end of their normal life or usage. A condition which was expected to last a few months has now entered its third year.
REFUGEES IN IMPROVISED QUARTERS
21. Most people have the idea that a majority of the refugees are located in tented camps. This is an erroneous belief, as two-thirds of the total are housed in improvised quarters, many of which were, and are, unsuited for anything except temporary emergency use. Most of these quarters were, and still are, the only ones available. This latter fact does not make the situation any less depressing to the refugees or the visitor. Larger rooms are divided by means of sacking or similar temporary hangings into family quarters with each family, whatever its size, together with its clothing, cooking utensils, etc., occupying the limited floor space of its single cubicle. Births, deaths, wedding celebrations, etc., often take place, and always the preparation of food and all the phases of ordinary life are carried on in these confined spaces, usually separated only by a curtain of old sacking from the similarly unfortunate occupants of adjoining cubicles. The aged, the youth, the halt, the maimed and the blind--and there is a high incidence of eye afflictions -- are all housed together, with little chance of amusement, recreation or quietness. Their main social outlet is discussion of their plight with their equally unfortunate neighbours.
22. Some of the buildings have neither sufficient light nor ventilation for the numbers using them. It speaks volumes for the hardihood of the Palestinians and the efficiency of the medical services provided that no epidemics have as yet reached more than incipient stages. There is no evidence that refugees experience an incidence of tuberculosis or other communicable disease above that applying to the ordinary population of the Near East. Only people already hardened to living conditions which the western world considers harsh and primitive could have lived through more than two years of such conditions without more pronounced indications of deterioration physically and morally.
23. Clothing carried with the refugees in their original flight and subsequent issues of clothing by voluntary agencies is now generally in rags and tatters, and, because of the living conditions, in a filthy state. The UNRPR and the agencies have organized weaving and sewing projects amongst the refugees, which have provided a worthwhile addition of new and suitable clothing, but the supply is necessarily far from adequate for more than three-quarters of a million people.
REFUGEES IN TENTED CAMPS
24. The occupants of tented camps enjoy healthier living conditions during the rainless period, April to October, than those occupying billets. In general, each family occupies a tent and, though crowded, there is relatively more privacy than in billets. Dirt, dust and confusion of bedding, clothing and food supplies exist in similar proportion to that in billets. In the wet season those in tents suffer more than those in billets. Tents deteriorate quickly in the hot sun and high winds which are generally experienced in Palestine and the surrounding countries, and it is very difficult to provide against leakage during the days and weeks of rain of the winter months. Fuel is scarce and expensive so that heating is a serious problem and fuel must be carefully conserved. The same conditions concerning clothing apply to tent dwellers as to those in billets. Owing to various causes, amongst which are the vanishing resources of refugees who formerly rented rooms, there is a trend toward higher population in tented camps. From May to August of this year the population in tented camps increased by more than 20,000.
REFUGEES WITH SOME MEANS
25. Many sad cases exist amongst those refugees who owned considerable property and other worldly goods under their former living conditions. Many of these brought into exile with them, money, jewellery, etc., which could be sold, and until recently have maintained themselves in rented quarters. There is much evidence that the majority of such refugees have reached, or are reaching, the end of their resources and are now living under the ordinary conditions applying to refugees in the area.
26. Strangely enough the general morale of the refugees is higher than might be expected after spending more than two years in exile under most trying conditions. Real trouble-makers are confined to a very small proportion of the total number of refugees, and food strikes and work stoppages are generally considered to be the result of organized pressure groups. There is considerable evidence indicating that subversive effort is fairly widely diffused amongst the refugees. The Arab is, however, a confirmed individualist and does not offer the most fruitful type of field in which to extol the benefits of any form of government which might propose to alter his traditional mode of life. Otherwise, it is almost inevitable that the misery and suffering of the refugees would already have made them almost completely the tools of pressure groups wishing to exploit their misery for political or other reasons.
27. During August, a campaign of bitter criticism of the Agency, its motives and personnel, was carried on in a large section of the Arab Press. The rather unvaried monotony of the charges gave indication of central inspiration. An organized series of work stoppages occurred in Lebanon in early September wherein small groups threatened the workers in such a manner that they declined to work for a time. The Syrian office of the Agency, located in Damascus, was destroyed by explosives and a bomb was thrown at a truckload of workers in Lebanon. Threats of violence have been made against individual employees of the Agency. It seems likely that the two campaigns--denunciations in certain sections of the Arab Press and violence--are closely related and spring from the same source which fostered the food strikes in the early days of the Agency.
28. The governments concerned are co-operating closely in combatting the disturbing influence, and the vast majority of the refugees have taken no part in the fomentation of trouble or in any attempt to embarrass the Agency. As mentioned earlier, troublemakers amongst the refugees are considered to be a mere fraction of the total. It is, however, a fact that the refugee, individually and collectively, is tired of his present condition. Above all, he wishes to return to his former home and means of livelihood. He has been repeatedly told, and generally believes, that his present condition is due to the interference of the Western world in his affairs. He is resentful of the fact that he is forced to live away from his former home and that he has received no compensation for his losses. He is also resentful of the fact that his money in banks in Israel is withheld from him. He considers the United Nations mainly responsible for his plight. He expresses little, if any, gratitude for the Agency's efforts to maintain or improve his condition. He persistently demands increased medical and educational services and improved rations both in quantity and quality. After more than two years of enforced idleness living under uncertain and trying conditions, more than 800,000 of these refugees constitute a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Near East countries.
29. A digest of information appearing on the ration cards of 372,703 refugees indicates that 64,610 of the total have been employed in gainful occupation as follows:
Total population surveyed: 372,703.
Total reporting occupations: 64,610.
Liberal professions (lawyers, doctors, etc.)
Agriculture (small farmers)
Building and works
Clerical, constabulary, etc.
Services (barbers, tailors, cooks, etc.)
Industry and handicrafts (tinsmiths, welders, weavers, printers, etc.)
Miscellaneous (insurance salesmen, soldiers, etc.)
*Includes some agricultural labourers.
REFUGEES IN ISRAEL
30. In Israel, the Agency has provided relief to two types of refugees, Jews who fled inside the borders of Israel during the fighting, and Arabs in most instances displaced from one area in Palestine to another. Jewish refugees at first numbered 17,000 but, during the current summer, all but 3,000 of these have been absorbed into the economic life of the new State. Arabs on relief were first numbered at 31,000 but many have been placed in circumstances in which they are self-supporting, so that it was possible to reduce the number to 24,000 at the end of August 1950.
31. Recent discussions with the Israel Government indicate that the idea of relief distribution is repugnant to it, and the Agency was informed that already many of the 24,000 remaining refugees were employed and that all able-bodied refugees desiring employment could be absorbed on works projects if they would register at the government registry offices for that purpose. It was stated that they all have status as citizens of Israel and are entitled to treatment as such. It was claimed that after cessation of relief, aged and infirm refugees would be cared for under the normal social welfare machinery of Israel. The Agency was requested to share financially in a programme of re-establishment of displaced Arabs now within the boundaries of Israel.
32. The report of the Economic Survey Mission estimated that the following numbers would remain on relief in the four quarters of 1950:
Average number on relief in 1950:
As mentioned in paragraph 7 above, on taking over its duties on 1 May the Agency discovered that the above mathematical estimate was vastly exceeded by the actual numbers holding ration cards.
33. The relief situation from 1 January to 1 September was as follows:
Number on ration lists
Number of rations distributed
Rations are distributed to all refugees on the Agency's lists whether or not they are employed on works projects. In the case of each paid worker a monetary deduction is made which represents the basic relief services which he and three of his dependents have received. As at 15 September, 14,502 workers were employed on works (see paragraph 53 below). A deduction of four times this number, or 58,008, should therefore be made in comparing the direct relief load with the work relief load.
REDUCTIONS IN RATIONS
34. In May, the first month of its active life, the Agency, with more than 950,000 names on its refugee lists, attempted to cut ration distribution to 800,000, but so many debatable cases were brought forward and so much adverse discussion arose that it was decided that 860,000 rations were the minimum feasible to distribute unless the Agency was to leave itself open to grave criticism on humanitarian grounds. Despite expensive and painstaking census efforts, it has not been considered feasible to reduce rations below 855,000 for September. Although many fraudulent cases have been discovered, it is important to remember that the deductions are made from the names inherited from the Agency's predecessors. The number of rations issued in September is 363,000 above the number foreseen by the Economic Survey Mission for the third quarter of the year. When this figure is corrected for the rations charged to workers (see note in relation to above table) the real difference is reduced to 305,000. It is regretted that, despite its earnest desire to do so, the Agency has to date been unable to remove many undeserving individuals from its relief rolls. It has no illusion about the unpopularity of its endeavours in that direction. It feels little hope that it will meet with any co-operation in its efforts toward the goal set. Conferring refugee status on non-refugees in the first instance has created a situation that cannot be ignored, but removing it exposes the Agency to unwarranted and unfair criticism from the misinformed public as well as fanatical opposition on the part of the undeserving recipient and his friends and supporters.
35. The following tabulation shows the 31 August pattern by countries:
Number of claimants
Number of rations provided
The Israel Government has requested that relief distribution to these refugees be discontinued in the near future.
36. Census efforts to correct relief lists should begin to show worth-while reductions in October, but it is pointed out that there is a gap of 62,500 between the numbers on ration lists and the numbers of full rations distributed. The reductions in distribution have been achieved by reducing the individual rations in the areas where the greatest number of non-refugee names are considered to be on the Agency's lists.
37. In describing refugee conditions the picture would not be complete without mention of the specialized agencies associated with UNRWA and their part in servicing the programme.
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
38. UNICEF was first of the United Nations agencies to take part in Palestine refugee relief activities in 1948 and it has maintained close and intimate contact with the project since that time. Upon the creation of UNRWAPRNE, UNICEF merged its operations with the new Agency even more closely than had been the case with UNRPR. Generally speaking, the Fund's efforts are directed toward furnishing supplies for children, adolescents and pregnant or nursing mothers and, to this end, it provides milk, cod liver oil, sugar and dietary commodities not otherwise provided for. Two senior members of the Agency's staff are supplied by UNICEF and are integrated into its organization where they have the right to inspect operations and examine and approve plans involving UNICEF supplies. The closest co-operation is maintained and the experiment has proved to be most happy. Contributions of supplies to the refugee programme by UNICEF for 1950 amount to $3 million.
World Health Organization (WHO)
39. WHO supplies and pays a chief medical officer who organizes and supervises the carrying out of the Agency's medical programme within the budgetary limits provided. WHO also supplies and pays another full time medical officer on the Agency's staff and, from time to time, loans specialists in malaria, venereal diseases, tuberculosis, eye diseases, etc. In addition, WHO has provided $42,857 in cash toward the carrying out of the 1950 medical programme. The medical staff administered and paid by the Agency is as follows: at headquarters, Beirut, there is a deputy chief medical officer, a medical supply officer, a chief nurse and a sanitary engineer. The five districts each have a chief medical officer, a nurse, a sanitary officer and in some cases a medical store-keeper and a laboratory technician. Medical staff prior to the Agency's operation was composed of 120 international personnel which was reduced to 30. On the other hand, the Agency employs 66 doctors, 8 dentists and 113 nurses and nurse aids, practically all of whom are Palestinian refugees, with the exception of a few Lebanese and Egyptians. The medical services provide hospitals totalling more than 1,400 beds for hospitalization of refugees, and its well distributed clinics handle roughly 600,000 visits per month, many of which are for trivial cases. The medical budget will run close to $2 million for the year.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
40. UNESCO supplies an educational adviser to the Agency who co-ordinates the educational programme and assists in its operation. It also donates $50,000 toward the educational programme. Seventy-four schools, with over 700 teachers, are operated by the Agency for refugees, in addition to schools operated by various religious groups. The UNRWAPRNE-UNESCO schools are educating 35,740 pupils and require a budget of more than $400,000 per annum.
If funds could be made available, this programme could be tremendously expanded with beneficial results in raised morale and more useful citizens, when the present refugee children reach maturity.
41. The final report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East
lists a considerable number of works projects in the Near East and Middle East countries, and it sets up a schedule for transference of refugees from relief to works. It gives much technical data concerning the various projects and has served as a useful guide in directing the thoughts of officials in the various governments as well as those of the Agency. As mentioned earlier, the Agency did not come into being as early as hoped and the negotiations with governments concerning works have proved to be more protracted than had been anticipated by the Economic Survey Mission.
42. The Agency has found itself unable to approach the high targets for numbers employed set by the Economic Survey Mission and, up to the moment, most of its works projects must be classed as short-term. The reasons are as follows:
(1) The Agency did not get started as early as hoped.
(2) The time taken to interest refugees and governments in a works programme was longer than anticipated.
(3) There is no opportunity for any considerable works programme in Gaza. The Lebanon programme is necessarily limited and Jordan, though willing, will not be able to provide works for any numbers approaching those now within its borders.
(4) Finally, lack of contributions makes it impossible to provide for more than a very modest programme.
It is fair to say that the motives of the new Agency were not completely understood and little active response toward the starting of works projects was evidenced outside Jordan until after the June meeting of the Arab League, which approved of co-operation by its members with the Agency in its programme, provided the projects undertaken did not interfere with the right of the refugee to avail himself of the terms of General Assembly resolution
of December 1948, which provided for repatriation or compensation.
43. Active discussions with the Government of Lebanon concerning works projects were started in early July, with Syria toward mid-July, and with Egypt in late July. However, consultations leading to actual works in Jordan were undertaken in May and, although progress was continuous, it was only on 3 July that any considerable number of refugees were at work. These projects were at first confined to the construction of roads and forestry, because such projects employ a high percentage of hand labour and consequently a high percentage of the Agency's money spent gets into the hands of the refugees. It is also possible to start such projects without the prolonged survey work inherent to most of the major schemes.
44. It should be mentioned that in initiating projects, several conferences with each government are necessary before work may be started:
(1) A general discussion at a high level concerning the type of projects which may be undertaken;
(2) A discussion of possible projects with ministers and their technical personnel, followed by joint visits to the sites of these projects. These visits result in the rejection of some offered projects as not in the best interests of the refugees;
(3) A discussion between the technical personnel of the governments and the Agency in which specific projects are considered and tentative decisions taken as to whether or not the Agency could and should undertake them;
(4) Submission by the Agency technical personnel of the possible projects to the Advisory Commission. Projects close to the armistice lines must be cleared with the Armistice Commission;
(5) Result of a decision in regard to (4) above is conveyed to the government, which in turn, usually submits it to the cabinet;
(6) Decision of the government is made known to the Agency.
Following approval by both the government and the Agency it is necessary to mobilize tools and materials, move refugees to the site, etc. All these items are time-consuming and require several weeks of effort.
TERRACING AND FORESTRY
45. The Economic Survey Mission placed considerable hope on the provision of labour in terracing operations but this has not developed as a major factor in refugee employment. The main reasons are:
(1) Land close to settlements and markets is usually privately owned and two acres must be terraced to provide roughly one acre for the refugee and one acre for the owner.
(2) Terraced land is mainly used for growing olive trees and vines, and the former take ten years to become fully productive and the latter about half that period.
Because of the extremely high cost per unit of land available to the refugee and the fact that it normally does not make him self-supporting for several years, there is little hope of any considerable terracing programme. If at all feasible it will only develop on State domain lands, where all the land terraced will be available to the refugee. Major forest projects are usually in districts remote from established communities or refugee camps. To date it has proved very difficult to overcome the objections of refugees to work in those areas and a potential field of some thousands of refugees is only manned by a few hundred workers.
WORKS PROJECTS IN OPERATION
Extent of project (Kilometers)
Number of refugee workers 15 September 1950
Financed by funds from the United Kingdom Loan:
Extent of project
Number of refugee workers
15 September 1950
Mount Hermon area
Cedars of Lebanon area
Tell El Ferrara
Construction of boys' elementary school at Hebron
Sinn irrigation canal construction
One hectare is equivalent to 10 dunums, or 2.5 acres.
Small handicraft projects: shoemaking, carpentry, tent repair, soap-making, mat-making, barracks repair, exclusive of weaving and garment sewing, employ more than 1,000 refugees in the various countries.
WORKS PROJECTS APPROVED BUT NOT YET IN OPERATION
Road construction, Quatana--Massade,
Road construction, Hassetche--Ras El Ain, Afforestation, Aleppo west, Construction of forest roads, irrigation canal repair, Jullan area.
Excavation for laying mains to distribute potable water, Djebel Amel, Eklim El Kharroub.
WORKS PROJECTS IN PLANNING STAGE
Textile weaving scheme to employ approximately 400 refugees, Garment sewing project will employ some 300 workers, Housing project to provide temporary housing for refugees awaits decision by Government as to location and type of housing. Handicrafts: shoemaking, carpentry, blacksmithing, etc.
Bilharzia control--Jezireh area.
Handicrafts: shoemaking; carpentry and others.
49. Preliminary study and survey of some of the pilot projects mentioned in the report of the Economic Survey Mission are under way as follows, though none of them is yet under development:
Wadi Zerqua project
Close interval contour maps for the Wadi Zerqua are necessary and are in process of production by an air survey company. This work was arranged by the Jordan Government before the Agency became active. Various delays have occurred, but until the time of writing the proofs of the survey had not arrived in Jordan. Preliminary study by Agency engineers utilizing available data in the hands of the Jordan Government indicates that the storage available may not be as great as had been hoped and that silting problems are very serious. Unless the closer and more accurate contours which are hoped to be available in the near future considerably alter the picture, it appears that the cost of development, when viewed in the light of the area which may be irrigated, raises serious question as to economic possibility.
Litani River project
Agreement with the Lebanese Government to permit an over-all study of the Litani River development has been reached, though details have not yet been discussed. This is a project which may well be included under technical assistance, as its major implications are mainly in the direction of the economic development of Lebanon rather than in immediate assistance to refugees.
(3) Gharb Marshes project
The Syrian Government has also agreed to a study of the Gharb Marshes project by the Agency. A digest of investigations already made is presently under way. It is also a project which might well be included in the technical assistance programme. It should provide a considerable area of agricultural land in a district already densely populated.
LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
50. Projects of land reclamation, mainly on State domain and Crown lands in Jordan, are now in process of development. It should be noted that agricultural projects require much preliminary work before actual development is possible. First, there must be the location and preliminary study by agricultural experts of the area to be turned over for development; next comes soil sampling to assure the possibility of vegetable or cereal production; then comes exploration for water after geological study and test boring; and, finally, the digging of irrigation canals and provision of housing for those who are to inhabit the area. The first major land development project in the Jordan valley has reached the stage where contracts have been let for the drilling of wells in both east and west Jordan. Assuming that sufficient water for irrigation is available, refugees will then be invited to cultivate the land under expert supervision, and it is hoped that a number will become self-supporting after the first harvest.
51. Gaza has been a most difficult area in which to provide work for refugees. Over-populated and lacking any considerable endowment in natural resources as the area is, the Agency has found it possible to do little beyond small jobs such as the improvement of the water supply and the maintenance of a weaving and garment sewing project started under UNRPR which, when yarns are available, employs roughly 3,100 refugees on a piece-work basis. Materials produced and garments made are for distribution amongst the refugees. It is hoped that considerable land development and allied works projects may develop in the adjoining Egyptian territory of Sinai. The matter has been discussed with the Egyptian Government, and, at the time of writing, is under consideration by an inter-departmental committee of that Government.
52. The works programme for Arab refugees in Israel is carried on as an internal matter without the Agency's assistance, and the Government has reported that most of the breadwinners among the 24,000 refugees, except white collar workers, are gainfully employed.
53. The following table gives a summary of the refugees at work as of mid-September 1950.
Employed in administrative and maintenance services; transport; supply and distribution; sanitation; nursing; teaching
Employed on works projects
Employed on small handicrafts; weaving; garment making; carpentry; shoemaking and others
In addition, employees on projects being carried out by the Jordan Government under the United Kingdom loan number 3,125.
54. The wage rates for unskilled labour, set in agreement with the governments, are not sufficiently attractive to induce refugees to abandon their refugee status in order to obtain wage paying work. Higher rates would be out of line with local rates on public works. For a start, therefore, it was decided that refugees on payrolls would not be removed from ration lists but would be continued in their normal status and charged a fee for the food, shelter, medical care and other services rendered to them. In addition to the worker's own relief receipts, he is charged for those of three dependents. If charged for more than three dependents the remaining money was not sufficient to attract workers. The average worker in Syria and Lebanon receives the equivalent of roughly $13 to $14 per month after paying relief services for himself and three dependents. In Jordan the "take-home" pay is slightly lower. Search for a formula whereby refugees may receive cash in full for their work and be struck from relief rolls continues. Aside from the fact that the Agency with its mass purchasing, without profit motive, can give more food for the same amount of money than the refugee could purchase at retail prices, there is the fact that local supplies in some areas are not sufficient for the needs, and price inflation would be almost inevitable, with demands for higher wage rates following closely.
55. The refugee problem directly affecting more than 800,000 persons and indirectly affecting many more thousands is currently the outstanding economic and social phenomenon of the Near East. Few, if any, major problems in the area can be treated independently of this fact. The Agency was created to deal realistically with the refugee problem and has now five months of operating experience to draw upon. As a result of its experience in establishing a works programme it has become evident that the governments are willing to initiate useful projects, but the lack of sufficient qualified personnel for the preparation of data and supervision of works is often a major delaying factor. This applies to simple works projects and will be more noticeable when any of the more complex pilot projects are seriously undertaken. Departmental analysis and inter-departmental synthesis of project planning is still generally not well developed. It would be improved tremendously by assistance rendered to governments by experts in such fields as agriculture, irrigation engineering, small industries, economics, public finance, development of mineral resources, communications and town planning, welfare, civic administration, social legislation, etc. Of almost equal importance in such matters is the supply of assistants to experts until local personnel can be trained. Otherwise an undue portion of the experts' time and energy is consumed in detail work which is more or less routine in nature. Unless some assistance of the nature mentioned above is provided in the countries in which the Agency is now operating works projects, only a halting and spasmodic progress is likely to take place and many years will be added to the time taken by these countries to achieve the desired degree of social and economic development.
56. Many of the projects which the Agency is or will be undertaking might well be classified under the heading of technical assistance. The staff of the Agency includes engineering, and agricultural personnel and economists, together with medical, educational and welfare specialists. It is therefore deeply interested in the co-ordination of its work with that of specialized agencies, or other groups, which may be concerned with technical assistance in the Near East. It is realized that many technical assistance projects are outside the field of natural resource development, but such projects may well be co-ordinated with other United Nations activities already associated with the Agency. Governments are already confused as to the relations between the United Nations services which contact them on various subjects. It is hoped that the future may see more co-ordination and follow-up in United Nations effort. Otherwise, as in the past, projects will continue to be surveyed, reported on, and subsequently pigeon-holed because of the lack of technical personnel and civil service organization necessary to implement them. The whole tenor of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission report indicates its vision of a broad field for technical assistance in the development of the natural resources of the Near East. It points out that "a higher standard of living can only be achieved through the development of the natural resources of the Middle East countries which, to begin with, should be reflected in an improved and modernized agriculture without which substantial industrial opportunity is denied them".
57. The Agency's financial situation has never been a happy one. Its budget has been based on requests for cash funds or supplies made to friendly governments, both Members and non-members of the United Nations, as is no doubt the case with many international organizations. This has proved to be a precarious method of meeting definite monthly requirements, like the food bills of more than 800,000 refugees. At no time in its brief career has the Agency been able to see its financial position assured for more than a few weeks ahead. For three of the five months of its existence it has not had sufficient unencumbered cash with which to purchase the subsequent month's food needs until the twentieth day of the month in question. Under such conditions, planning of works projects on any considerable scale for the future was tinged with an air of unreality. The Agency has experienced many disappointments and frustrations, but lack of cash within its control has been an outstanding handicap. A large and complex programme cannot be adequately planned and administered efficiently when it depends on the receipt of voluntary contributions in unknown amounts, to be delivered at unknown times. Fortunately, the cash contribution of the two largest contributors have been scheduled, or the projects would have already suffered serious danger of collapse.
58. As indicated in appendix 2, the Agency began its field work seriously in debt to the United Nations Working Capital Fund, to IRO and to sundry other creditors. This total debt amounted to $7,761,785. It received from its predecessor, UNRPR, cash, supplies and capital equipment totalling $5,117,704 (See appendix 2). During the period 1 May to 31 August 1950, cash receipts from contributors amounted to $9,400,000 (See appendix 3) of which $2 million was paid on the loan from the United Nations Working Capital Fund, leaving available cash received at $7,400,000. This sum, together with roughly $4,500,000 (see appendix 2) in cash and supplies received from UNRPR totalled $11,900,000 to cover approved plans of expenditure from 1 May to 30 September amounting to $12,500,000. Only the fact that works projects did not develop as quickly as had been anticipated permitted the transfer of funds earmarked for works to the provision of basic relief. Even then it was only with the receipt of the fourth quarter installment of the United States contribution on 25 September that the Agency could allocate funds for the purchase of October food requirements.
59. It is unfortunate that the financial picture of the Agency cannot be completely separated from that of UNRPR because the period covered in the financial estimates of the Economic Survey Mission includes four months of relief administration by UNRPR. At first glance it might be considered that its net liquid assets, such as cash and supplies (amounting to just over $4,100,000), might be added to receipts from other sources in ascertaining the total sum available for relief and works until 30 June 1951. However, the fact that the Agency or its successor will require a similar amount of cash in banks and supplies in store or in transit on 1 July 1951, must be taken into consideration if a serious interruption of relief activities is to be avoided. The money available for the Agency is therefore calculated to be equal to the receipts in cash and kind for the period.
60. Paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) set forth the requirement for relief and works at $54,900,000 from 1 January 1950 to 30 June 1951. Despite an appeal and a follow-up appeal to all countries by the Secretary-General, and a follow-up appeal to all non-contributors by the Director, promises in cash and kind, exclusive of services supplied by Near East governments, total only $38,984,000 (see appendix 3 for details). This sum is also exclusive of the British loan of £1 million to Jordan which was granted before the Agency was organized. While it is a contribution by the United Kingdom to the Palestine refugee programme, it is, strictly speaking, not part of the Agency's funds and is not under its control. Relief is still being administered to some hundreds of thousands more than the numbers included in the estimates of the Economic Survey Mission. Later in the report a recommendation that this be continued after 31 December is made. Direct relief costs, exclusive of direct aid provided by the Near East governments, from 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1950, is estimated at $20,187,000 and at current estimates for the period 1 January to 30 June 1951 will total at least $9,167,000 (see appendix 4). This estimate must be increased with any increase in the cost of commodities or any increase granted in the standard of relief distributed. Minimum direct relief costs from 1 January 1950 to 30 June 1951, therefore, amount to $29,354,000. It will readily be seen that with all pledges honoured we shall have a maximum of $9,600,000 available to the Agency for all works projects during the period 1 May 1950 to 30 June 1951. Any increased costs in relief distributed must be deducted from that amount unless new sources of funds may be tapped.
61. Copy of the financial statement as of 31 August 1950 is set forth in appendix 5.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ADVISORY COMMISSION AND THE
DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY
FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
62. The first part of this report has been prepared by the Director. The second part presents the joint recommendations of the Director and the Advisory Committee for the future, for it is agreed that 30 June 1951 will not see an end to the refugee problem--a problem so fraught with human misery and danger to the peace and stability of the Near East. The Director and the Advisory Commission realize that the present session of the General Assembly affords the proper occasion for presenting the following proposals.
63. The recommendations that follow derive not only from the sobering experience of five months' operations but also from extended and fruitful consultation over that same period. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) and consistent with the final report of the Economic Survey Mission, the Advisory Commission and the Director have had full and formal consultation with Near East governments. There have been many visits and conferences with refugees and their representatives. There has been frequent and helpful discussion with our respective national missions. The recommendations that flowed from this exchange are, of course, the joint responsibility of the Advisory Commission and the Director. They centre around two controlling observations:
) The programme for the future should assure better living conditions for the refugee and more assistance toward his ultimate re-establishment.
) There is need for a new estimate of the continuing cost of relief and a realistic re-examination of the programme with respect to financing.
THE REFUGEE RELIEF PROGRAMME
64. The Director's report reveals a determined effort to increase the efficiency and raise the standard of refugee relief services. Investigation and action to raise the quality of rations and service is being carried out on an increasing scale. It now appears that action along additional lines is desirable. The programme of feeding is based on a low daily diet. This minimum diet has been supplemented by personal resources now largely exhausted. Another important deficiency is in the matter of clothing. The hardships of camp life have exacted a heavy toll on the modest wardrobe that the refugee brought with him. Similarly, with the passage of time, another need has developed. Shelter, hastily and hopefully assembled, has now reached a stage of deterioration which calls for a sizeable investment. The approach of the third winter of displacement seems to the Agency to call for a recognition of the continuing need for relief and a re-estimate of its cost.
65. The Agency proposes the continuation of direct relief with special and appropriate provision for the current winter months. It is assumed that specialized and voluntary agencies will continue to supplement this programme.
66. The central theme of resolution 302 (IV) and the programme as it was transmitted to the Agency was the change-over from a relief programme to one of works employment. Many excellent purposes were envisaged: to eliminate the ration line, to offer the refugee a constructive outlet and to strengthen the economies of the countries which are acting as his host. A persistent effort has been made to apply this formula. The launching of the programme required patient months of negotiation and selection of projects. As at the time of this report, approximately 17,500 refugees are working. Any increase in this level of employment will depend on new financial contributions. One of the valuable results of the works programme has been the establishment of co-operative working relations with local governments, which can be continued and built up in the future. It is clear also that there are many miscellaneous projects ready to be started and that the individual refugee is willing to work. On the other hand, a works programme under the present formula requires larger international contributions than was contemplated. It has not removed the refugee from the camps or the ration line. There is the constantly disturbing thought that the programme may be a drain on international resources that will ultimately be required in large amount for the reintegration of refugees.
67. The Agency proposes that the works programme be continued but be gradually transformed into a programme specifically directed toward improvement of the refugees' living conditions, current and future.
68. The dominant fact in the Agency's operations is the existence of over three quarters of a million refugees who for three years have been living in poverty, misery and idleness. The compelling thought is that somewhere ahead is a huge task of rehabilitation and re-establishment. It is the Agency's profound hope that the happy realization of this task may not be postponed through lack of readiness. Inevitably in the days ahead occasions will develop when governments and refugees on their own initiative will jointly agree on projects of rehabilitation. The international community may safely assume that assistance will be required by governments and refugees, if the refugee is to be rehabilitated as a producing member and an economic asset of an urban or rural environment. The assistance should be broadly available for either repatriation or re-establishment, as negotiations may permit.
69. The Agency proposes that the United Nations authorize contributions to a fund that will be available for projects of refugee reintegration, for surveys and for technical assistance connected therewith which Near Eastern governments may propose.
70. The General Assembly resolution and the subsequent final report of the Economic Survey Mission clearly contemplated that the Agency would have a function of technical assistance to Near East governments and Near East institutions. The experience of the last five months has confirmed the wisdom of this assumption. As the programme moves from relief to works and on to reintegration, there will be greater and more urgent necessity to buttress the co-operating governments with technical advice and technical talent. We realize that a large operating programme, especially an economic undertaking with a broad-gauged motivation, carries with it inevitably a large requirement for technical assistance. This has been the history of large river development projects and programmes of international assistance such as the Marshall Plan, and in fact a feature of the better large-scale developments of private enterprise. The technical co-operation programmes of individual governments, the technical assistance programme of the United Nations, together with that of UNRWAPRNE, hold much promise for the Near East. It is an especial challenge that they be properly co-ordinated.
71. The Agency hopes that the United Nations, recognizing the large core of technical assistance inherent in UNRWAPRNE operation, will utilize to the fullest extent the Agency's facilities as a point of reference and co-ordination in the Near East.
72. Another evidence of foresight in the conclusions of the Economic Survey Mission is the suggestion that the Agency be available for discussion with Near East governments with respect to their plans for economic development. The experience and the consultations of the first five months of Agency operations have confirmed the belief that the unfolding programme has important implications for the economy of the Near East. This became particularly apparent during the course of surveys of the pilot projects recommended by the Economic Survey Mission. The presence of over three quarters of a million refugees is a major economic dislocation. Nearly one-half of this number are living in over-populated areas where work and other opportunities are virtually non-existent, and where there is no hope that they can become self-supporting. The reintegration of all these persons, in terms of financial outlay and period of years, will undoubtedly become a major economic enterprise. There will be many ties to local economy, public and private. There will be many occasions for close regional co-operation. The financial requirements of the reintegration projects will always persistently press for co-ordination with the financial arrangements for general economic development. In fact, it is assumed that general public and private investment will lay the foundation for, and will buttress the expenditure from, the integration fund.
73. The Agency urges the United Nations to encourage and facilitate consultation among those engaged in international economic activities in the Near East, especially with reference to the task of refugee reintegration, and to facilitate the Agency's participation in feasible arrangements for economic co-operation among Near East governments.
74. The cost of continuing relief coupled with that of reintegration is considered to be beyond the present capacity of Near Eastern governments to bear, although they can make a contribution.
75. Since contributions received to date are below the amount recommended by the Economic Survey Mission and insufficient to cover the cost of urgent relief needs, the Agency is compelled to ask for additional funds for the current year. We strongly urge the governments of the world immediately to contribute an additional total of $5 million to assist in bridging the gap between the budget foreseen by the Economic Survey Mission and the promise received to date. Otherwise no improvement in the existing scale of rations or services can be provided for the coming winter without further depleting the comparatively small sum which remains available for work projects. Unless these contributions are received immediately, the Agency will be forced to request an advance from the United Nations Working Capital Fund.
76. For the year ahead generous assistance is requested from the international community to cover the costs of the proposed readjusted programme of UNRWAPRNE. The following estimates are submitted for the period 1 July 1951 to 30 June 1952:
77. When viewed against the large number of needy refugees, the estimate of $20 million for direct relief is a minimum figure. It is based upon the belief that the numbers of refugees can be diminished by an effective programme of reintegration and in other ways. The establishment of the fund of $30 million constitutes a first step (without commitment as to the future) in a major undertaking to reintegrate the majority of over three quarters of a million refugees, which may ultimately entail the expenditure of several hundred million dollars over a period of years. It should, at the same time, be noted that all expenditure under this fund will hasten the day of refugee self-support, and bring nearer the day when international assistance can be withdrawn.
78. In presenting this financial estimate, the Agency wishes strongly to stress the necessity of firm financing. Ample funds must always be at hand on schedule, for the simple reason that vital supplies and services to needy refugees must be available on time. The Agency must feel assured of its resources for one entire fiscal year, at least, if relief is to be regularly provided and if reintegration projects are to be effectively undertaken.
79. In this effort to project a programme and to suggest a plan of financing, attention finally turns to the arrangements for executing the programme and to the complex problem of ensuring co-operative effort which translates international assistance into refugee welfare. The Agency is ever conscious, and attempts to be deeply understanding, of the impact of refugee life and future uncertainty on the minds and morale of these exiles. It also recognizes the great storehouse of mental and physical energy in the refugee population. The Agency hopes during the months ahead that fresh formulae of teamwork may be found whereby the resources of international assistance and refugee help may be better blended in the refugees' interest.
80. The Advisory Commission and the Director face the possibility of beginning another year of service with the substantial asset of a "going" organization. Patiently the Agency has reshaped and strengthened its heritage of relief and administrative personnel for the new and current tasks. There has been a full attempt to achieve the most effective combination of a minimum of international personnel with a maximum of Near East experience. The months have also witnessed the exploration and discovery of acceptable ways of assisting the Near East governments. These efforts range from occasional contacts along informational lines with a government representative to regular meetings with a cabinet-level governmental development board which spans the subject matter of refugee welfare and employment, technical assistance and economic development. Many meetings were held with local governments, aid-memoires were exchanged, and a significant area of common understanding was achieved.
81. In the daily operations of relief services there are many governmental contacts at the operating level. This is inevitable because local governments touch at every turn the difficult process of procurement and distribution. They are intimately interwoven with the services of health, education and welfare. In a major way the effectiveness of the relief operations is dependent on full co-operation and smooth working relations. The Agency is happy to supplement the financial and administrative resources of local governments, and hopes that increasingly there will be public appreciation of the fact that the Agency and the governments inseparably share responsibility for the successes and failures of a difficult task.
82. With reference to subparagraph 7 ([i:b]) of General Assembly resolution 302 (IV), the Agency is working toward the day when the Near East countries assume responsibility for administering the refugee programme. In the expanding field of refugee employment on works projects, the teamwork has been more conspicuous. As the programme moves into another year, there is a good prospect that the arrangements will be firmer and more effective; they may develop as between countries. Whatever form they take, the Agency fully appreciates that the acceptance of assistance is one of decision and choice by sovereign countries. In addition to the administrative resources of the Near East, there are other reserves of assistance which the Agency gratefully acknowledges; there are the specialized agencies of the United Nations; there are the important facilities offered by voluntary agencies; there are the indispensable resources of the contributing nations. With all of them the Agency looks forward to full partnership in service to the refugees.
83. In conclusion, we would emphasize once more that the magnitude of and the danger inherent in the Near East refugee problem needs the fullest understanding and support of the nations of the world.
84. The above recommendations are herewith submitted by the Advisory Commission and the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
The Advisory Commission:
) J. TARBE DE SAINT-HARDOUIN (France)
) Refet BELE (Turkey)
) Sir Henry KNIGHT (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
) John B. BLANDFORD, Jr. (United States of America)
Paris, 6 October 1950
List of voluntary agencies co-operating with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East as of 23 September 1950
1. The Co-ordinating Committee of Voluntary Agencies
2. Lebanese Red Cross
3. Jordan Red Crescent
4. Young Women's Christian Association
5. Young Men's Christian Association
6. British Save-the-Children Fund
7. British Syrian-Lebanese Mission
8. Middle East Relief Inc
9. Near East Foundation
11. Church Missionary Society
12. Anglican Relief
13. Church of the Nazarene
14. Mennonite Central Committee
15. Congregational Christian Service Committee
16. Church World Service and United Missionary Council
17. Lutheran World Federation
18. American Presbyterian Mission
19. Arab Evangelical Episcopal Community
20. Sisters of Nazareth
21. Greek Catholic Church
22. Greek Orthodox Church
23. Armenian Church
24. Arab Women's Union
25. Civic Welfare League of the American University of Beirut
26. American University of Beirut
27. Saint-Joseph (French University)
28. Middle East Union Mission (Seventh Day Adventists)
29. Egyptian Red Crescent
30. American Friends Service Committee
31. Superior Council of Palestine Refugees
Cash, supplies, accounts receivable and payable and other assets and liabilities taken over from
the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees on 1 May 1950
Cash and bank accounts of UNRPR ............. 3,411,966
Cash and bank accounts of agencies .......... 56,018
TOTAL CASH 3,467,984
Supplies on hand ........................... 899,180
Supplies in transit ........................ 159,669
Supplies receivable, UNICEF sugar ........... 10,388
TOTAL SUPPLIES 1,069,237
Accounts receivable (employee accounts,
guarantee deposits recoverable, etc.) ....... 3,710
Duties and taxes recoverable from Arab
countries .... 25,000
TOTAL RECEIVABLES 28,710
Advances for weaving project ............. 21,577
Prepaid expenses ......................... 23,050
Equipment (less provision for depreciation) ......... 507,146
Advances from United Nations Working Capital Fund ........................... 4,500,000
Loan from International Refugee Organization ................................ 2,800,000
Accounts payable for supplies, freight, services, etc. ...................... 404,468
Provision for termination costs of UNRPR .................................... 33,117
Deferred credit -- advance contributions received
municipal water projects 24,200
Recapitulation concerning contributions in cash and kind
promised to 30 June 1951
and received to 31 August 1950
(given in detail on the following pages)
Recorded value in US dollars
Direct aid and services of Near East
governments (page 45)
United Kingdom loan to Jordan
This item includes a second contribution of 500 million francs from France and similarly a second contribution from Canada of $750,000, both of which remain to be approved by the Parliaments of those countries. It also includes £130,000 (Egyptian) voted by the Egyptian Government but not yet formally offered to the Agency.
This item, together with $741,600 in cash contributions, totals $1,869,476 against $6,000,000 anticipated by the Economic Survey Mission. Direct aid from Near East governments is not included in preparing the quarterly plans of expenditure.
Entered for record purposes. While it is a contribution to the over-all refugee problem by the United Kingdom, the money is spent by arrangements made between the governments directly concerned.
CASH CONTRIBUTIONS PROMISED TO 30 JUNE 1951 AND RECEIVED TO 31 AUGUST 1950
Contributor Contribution Recorded value in US dollars
MEMBERS OF UNITED NATIONS
United States of America . $US 27,450,000 27,450,000 8,000,000
United Kingdom .......... £ 2,200,000 6,160,000 1,400,000
Canada .................. $Can. 725,000 690,000 -
France ................ Fr. frs.1,000,000,000 2,856,000 -
Bolivia .............. $US 5,000 5,000 -
Egypt ................. £E. 130,000 364,000 -
Israel ............... £I. 17,850 50,000 -
TOTAL 37,575,000 9,400,000
Switzerland .........Sw. frs. 100,000 25,000
of the Jordan Jord. dins. 117,000 327,600 -
TOTAL 352,600 -
Recorded value in US DOLLARS
UNESCO ..................... 50,000 -
WHO ........................ 42,857 -
Church World Service .......£Leb. 1,800 483 483
Anonymous .................. $US 100 100° -
GRAND TOTAL 38,021,040 9,400,483
Included in cash assets transferred to UNRWA by UNRPR.
Received in New York in August - entered in UNRWAPRNE accounts in September.
CONTRIBUTIONS IN KIND PROMISED TO 30 JUNE
AND RECEIVED TO
Recorded value in US dollars
MEMBERS OF UNITED NATIONS
Canada .................. Flour, codfish ...... 735,000 -
Belgium ................. School material ..... 1,511 1,511
Ethiopia ................ Cereals ............. 28,000 -
Luxembourg ............. Tents, blankets, textiles .. 2,000 -
Norway ................. Herrings, sardines ......... 60,000 -
Pakistan ............... Wheat ..................... 90,000 -
Israel ................. Fuel ...................... 4,900 1,400
TOTAL 921,411 2,911
American Middle East Relief,
Inc. ......................Medical supplies ...... 18,291 18,291
Mennonite Central Committee ..Soap ................. 600 600
Norwegian Red Cross ......... Multi vitamin tablets .. 1,539 1,539
Holy Land Arab Refugee Fund,
London ......................Used clothing, footwear .. 365 365
Women Groups of Teheran, Ras
Tanura and Obgaia -- Saudi
Arabia ......................Used clothing, footwear
materials 855 855
Schools in the Netherlands ..School material .......... 125 125
Mrs. Badie Bulos ........... Sweaters ................. 67 67
Canadian and American pulp
and paper industries ....... Dryer felts ...............20,000 -
TOTAL 41,842 21,842
GRAND TOTAL 963,253 24,753
The contribution of UNICEF mentioned in paragraph 38 is not included here as it is supplementary to the basic ration distributed by UNRWAPRNE, and its financing being under the control of UNICEF, it is not included in preparing quarterly plans of expenditure.
DIRECT AID AND SERVICES TO THE AGENCY ANTICIPATED FROM NEAR EAST
GOVERNMENTS TO 30 JUNE 1951 AND RECEIVED TO 31 AUGUST 1950
Recorded value in US dollars
Lebanon .......................... 360,000 68,500
Syria ............................ 200,000 57,000
Egypt ............................ 512,450 146,900
Israel ........................... 36,946 10,556
Hashimite Kingdom of the Jordan
.. 18,480 6,160
TOTAL 1,127,876 289,116
Estimated value of services from 1 May 1950 to 30 June 1951.
Estimated value of services from 1 May to 31 August 1950.
The Hashimite Kingdom of the Jordan is utilizing the £1 million loaned by the United Kingdom on projects for the aid of refugees.
Expenses for the period 1 January - 31 August 1950 and projection to 30 June 1951
Source of information
UNRPR accounts .......... Administrative and relief expen-
ses 1 January-30 April 1950.... 8,042,110
UNRWAPRNE accounts ...... Administrative and relief expen-
ses 1 May-31 August 1950 ...... 6,033,061
UNRWAPRNE plan of expend-
iture .................. Administrative and relief expen-
ses 1 September-31 December
1950 .......................... 6,111,522
TOTAL for the year 1950 20,186,693
Estimate based on experience . Administrative and relief expen-
ses 1 January-30 June 1951 .... 9,167,284
TOTAL: period 1 January 1950-
30 June 1951 ................. 29,353,977
Financial statement for the period 1 May to 31 August 1950
STATEMENT No. 1
ASSETS AND LIABILITIES AS AT 31 AUGUST 1950
Cash in banks and on hand (schedule A)................. 5,443,370.13
Receivables, advances and miscellaneous items ......... 132,407.43
Unpaid obligations, deposits, sundry creditors and
commitments .......................................... 2,503,710.89
United Nations ............................ 2,500,000.00
IRO ........................................2,800,000.00 5,300,000.00
Deficit, being excess of expenditure incurred over income .. 2,227,933.33
INCOME AND OBLIGATIONS INCURRED CUMULATIVE TO 31 AUGUST 1950
Contribution in cash (schedule B) ........... 9,400,483.49
Revenue collections (schedule C) ............ 65,893.63 9,466,377.12
Less amount reserved to cover UNRPR deficit account ......... 4,210,075.11
EXPENDITURE MADE AND OBLIGATIONS INCURRED AS PER STATEMENT
Administrative .......................... 284,171.46
Relief .................................. 5,705,749.37
Works projects .......................... 1,101,174.44
Capital ................................. 43,140.07
Liquidation reserve ..................... 350,000.00 7,484,235.34
Excess of expenditure made and obligations incurred over income
received ................................. 2,227,933.33
Cash in banks and on hand as at 31 August 1950
Cash in banks
and amount US dollars US dollars
The Chase National Bank of New York .. 3,320,195.11
The Lloyds & National Provincial
Foreign Bank, London .................... £ 299,475.12 838,531.84
The Credit Suisse, Geneva ........... Sw. Frs. 360,141.52 83,895.53
The Chase Bank, Paris .............. Fr. Frs. 208,498.00 789.76
The British Bank of Iran & the
Middle East, Beirut:
Account No. 1 ..................... £ Leb. 3,947.10 1,076.23
Lebanon district account ....... £ Leb. 116,680.62 33,251.40
Deposit account ................ £ Leb. 10,500.00 2,852.85
Account No. 4 ................. £ Leb. 10,000.00 2,743.90
The British Bank of Iran & the
Middle East, Damascus:
Account No. 1 .................. £ Syr. 320,449.29 79,465.64
Syria district account ......... £ Syr. 86,275.61 22,311.09
Dollar account ................. 32,000.00
The British Bank of Iran & the Middle
Account No. 1 ...................Jor. Dins. 152,817,009 427,887.64
Jordan district account ........ Jor. Dins. 78,889,914 220,891.75
Barclays Bank (D.C. & O.), Gaza:
Gaza district account .......... £ Pal. 13,577,017 38,156.04
Barclays Bank (D.C. & O.), Cairo:
Cairo district account ......... £ E. 113,350,428 326,507.74
Anglo Palestine Bank Ltd., Haifa:
Haifa district account ........ £ I. 4,089,696 11,451.15
Cash on hand
Headquarters Beirut in (4,11) Leb. ... 67.54 18.42
Headquarters Beirut in U. S. dollars ... 1,013.75
Imprest Funds .......................£ Leb. 1,100.00 330.29
TOTAL cash in banks and on hand ............... 5,443,370.13
Statement of cash contributions for the period 1 May to 31 August 1950
(expressed in US dollars)
United States of America
Church World Service
Statement of revenue collections for the period 1 May to 31 August 1950
Advisory Commission transport
Sale of empty containers
Sale of spoiled supplies
Sale of surplus and useless property
Hospital paying patients
STATEMENT NO. 2
APPROVED PLAN OF EXPENDITURE AND THE TOTAL OBLIGATIONS INCURRED AGAINST THE PLAN FOR THE PERIOD 1 MAY TO 31 AUGUST 1950
Amended plan of expenditure to 30 Sept. 1950
disbursed and committed
Salaries, international staff
Salaries, local staff
Related staff costs (including insurance of personnel)
Mission subsistence allowance
Travel within area (including subsistence)
Travel, Advisory Commission
Travel outside area
Rental and maintenance of headquarters premises
Stationery and office supplies, etc.
Travel on recruitment and termination indemnities
Insurance (other than personnel)
Maintenance and operation of cars, headquarters
Salaries, international staff
Salaries, local staff
Mission subsistence allowance
Travel within area (including subsistence)
Rent, utilities and maintenance of premises
Stationery, printing and office supplies
Shelter and blankets
Fuel, other than fuel for transport
Milk distribution (excluding wages)
Erection and maintenance of camps
Medical and sanitation supplies
Maintenance and operation of air planes
Transport of relief supplies
Maintenance and operation of cars and trucks
Warehousing, rent, maintenance, etc.
Registration of refugees (travel)
Registration of refugees (stationery, etc.)
Local field administration, medical and other services
Shelter and blankets
Fuel, other than fuel for transport
Raw materials, including seeds, timber, cement, etc.
Miscellaneous supplies and services
Erection and maintenance of camps
Transportation of works supplies
Operation of cars, trucks, etc. (including gasoline and oil)
Tools and expendable works and engineering stores
Capital equipment, tractors, drilling machinery, etc.
Gaza water project
Khan Younis water system
Gaza pipe materials
Reserve for liquidation
STATEMENT NO. 2A
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES WITH BUDGET COMPARISON FOR THE PERIOD 1 MAY TO 31 AUGUST 1950
Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session,
Political Committee, Annex, vol. I,
Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session,
Political Committee, Annex, vol. I,
Final Report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East,
United Nations Publications 1949. II B. 5., parts I and II.