UNRWA celebrates International Social Work Day – UNRWA press release


01 April 2016

Under the international theme “Societies thrive when the dignity and rights of all people are respected” and in recognition of the importance of social workers in serving Palestine refugee families in Gaza, UNRWA Relief and Social Services Programme (RSSP) organized a celebration on the occasion of International Social Work Day, 15 March.

An event honouring the Agency’s social workers was held at UNRWA’s Gaza Training Centre (GTC) attended by Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, Ms. Melinda Young, the Deputy Chief, RSSP, Mr. Naser El Khaldi, RSSP social workers and UNRWA senior staff.

“Our social workers are fundamental to the work of UNRWA. You have always been on the front lines, no matter what the situation or difficulty was, or the scale of the work, you were always available to help Palestinian families and individuals, listening to them with open minded and hearts,” said Ms. Young in her speech which recognized the commitment and achievements of UNRWA social workers.

During the celebration, the Deputy Director presented trophies to area relief and social services officers in recognition of their work as related to this importance day.

UNRWA RSSP in Gaza works with a capacity of 224 social workers distributed in 16 RSSP offices in all five areas of the Strip. Social workers play a fundamental role in providing and facilitating UNRWA services to Palestine refugee families and individuals. Social workers are, among other tasks, responsible for the assessment of refugee households through regular home visits based on the Poverty Assessment System (PAS), they support the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Programme in their shelter assessments for rehabilitation or re-housing of Palestine refugee families, or they assist particularly vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities, children who lost one or both parents, women and elderly persons, through special programmes and targeted services.


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$ 81 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:

Christopher Gunness

Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications


+972 (0)54 240 2659


+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha

Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson


+972 (0)54 216 8295


+972 (0)2 589 0724

Milina Shahin

Public Information Officer – Gaza Field Office


+972 599 609 485


+972 8 2887213

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