UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People 

In conversation with Matthias Schmale, UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza 

“The COVID-19 pandemic in Gaza and ways to mitigate its impact on Palestine refugees 

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 

The Chair of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Mr. Cheikh Niang (Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York) convened a (virtual) conversation with Mr. Matthias Schmale, UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza, on the topic “The COVID-19 pandemic in Gaza and ways to mitigate its impact on Palestine refugees”. The event was held with the participation of the Bureau of the Committee and was livestreamed on the Committee Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UN.palestinianrights/.

The conversation addressed the recent and current developments in the occupied Gaza Strip during the Global Coronavirus Pandemic, the UNRWA assistance to Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, and the need for continued international resolve to support the Agency including with emergency funding. 

During his more than 24 years of professional experience in international humanitarian and development organizations, Mr. Schmale has held numerous senior management positions; he served in the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the British Red Cross, and the International Save the Children Alliance. For UNRWA, he has served as the director for Lebanon, for Syria, and for its Representative Office in New York. In October 2017, he was appointed as Director of Field Operations in Gaza. Mr. Schmale holds a PhD in development economics from the Free University in Berlin, Germany. 

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