19 March 2020


UNRWA regrets to announce the killing of one of its staff member yesterday, Mr. Ali Husein Mohammad, following an outbreak of armed violence in Jillin, rural Dara’a, south of Syria. The thoughts and condolences of UNRWA staff are with Mohammad’s family in this time of profound grief. Born in 1977, Mohammad had served with UNRWA since September 2013 as a science teacher. He is survived by a widow and four children.

UNRWA provides critical services to the Palestine refugees in Jillin and has continued to provide assistance to Palestine refugees throughout Syria thanks to the dedication of staff like Mohammad. His tragic death, which brings to 19 the total number of UNRWA staff who lost their lives in the conflict is a reminder of the huge risks that humanitarian workers face daily.

UNRWA yet again appeals to all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, particularly in relation to the protection of civilians and the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and attacks against civilians and civilian objects.

Background Information:

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. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget.

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 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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.

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140