“WE ARE TIRED; IT’S ENOUGH”: ON WORLD REFUGEE DAY, UNRWA SHARES THE VOICES OF PALESTINE REFUGEES IN GAZA
22 June 2016
UNRWA shares the voices of Palestine refugees in Gaza, reminding the world of their plight and long journey through the tumultuous second half of the twentieth century and start of the twenty-first century.
Seventy-five-year-old Jamila Hashisho is originally from Jaffa city, south of today’s Tel Aviv in Israel. When she was only 6 years old, she was forced to flee her home with the rest of her family, trying to seek safety and protection. She ended up in the Gaza Strip and today lives in its impoverished Beach camp, in western Gaza City.
“One month ago, I was in Jaffa. For the first time I was able to visit my two daughters who live there. They took me to where my family house was located, close to the beach. However, I found nothing there,” she said, then added: “I wish one day the world leaders will stand by us – the refugees – not only in Gaza, but everywhere, and help us settle down and have a decent life. We are tired; it’s enough.”
Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
To ask people and governments from around the world to stand with refugees, the UN Refugee Agency launched its petition for 2016, We Stand #WithRefugees. UNRWA reiterates this call. The petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting on 19 September 2016. Through this petition, world governments are asked to ensure that refugees can enjoy the basic right to education and a safe place to live and that they can get a work opportunity, develop their skills and positively contribute to their communities.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 74 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance .
For more information, please contact:
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724
Najwa Sheikh Ahmad
Acting Public Information Officer - Gaza Field Office
+972 597 920 542
+972 8 2887 488