| Analysis |Statement: Refugees Demand UNRWA's Commissioner-General to Step Down
Since Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl was assigned as UNRWA Commissioner-General in March 2014, UNRWA's services has been experiencing an accelerated decline at all levels :
The employment program: The number of Arab employees in the UNRWA declined from 30718 employees in 2014 to 29825 in 2016 despite the increase of numbers of the unemployed refugees. On the other hand and despite the high salaries they get, The number of the international staff increased from 150 in 2014 to 182 in 2016. The employment was stopped at UNRWA in various programs and in all areas of UNRWA's operations, and this comes under a decision made by the Commissioner Pierre Krähenbühl in May 2015, which led to a steady decline in the number of employees because of the retirement and lack of compensation at an annual rate of 5.6%,. As a result, the rate of the unemployed graduates increased from 38% in 2014 to 42.5% in 2016, and also rates of extreme poverty have been rising. Moreover, UNRWA ignored the rights of the Arab employees whether in permanent jobs or in salary survey. Employees under unemployment's contracts were reduced, and UNRWAS is working right now to get rid of 350 workers under unemployment's contracts. It also had previously laid off 150 engineers who worked under temporary contracts.
The Health Program: Krähenbühl decided to separate the Department of Health early next year, which indicates that all programs would be separated in independent circles as a prelude to cancel them one by one. Specialist doctors were also canceled and only the family doctor remained. Moreover, spare room was merged with the injection room, which cancelled 23 jobs for nurses. 23 other nurses are prepared to be gotten rid of through the abolition of the injection room in clinics of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip. Providing medicine for people with chronic diseases had also declined, and surgical operations in Lebanon and Gaza are mostly turned to the governmental hospitals which cost high fees the refugees cannot stand.
Education Program: The number of students increased highly in the classes of UNRWA's schools as the average of the students in the class increased from 35 students in 2014 to 50 students in 2016. Moreover, the number of teachers of extracurricular activities, cleaners , and the school's secretarial have been reduced. UNRWA plans also to cancel the meals of students in the Industry Institutes which results in laying off 12 workers. In addition, the lesson of science and sociology were cancelled from the fourth grade
The Program of Supply: Krähenbühl ordered the ration services in Jordan and the West Bank into an electronic cards, which leads to laying off the Supply staff and damaging of the ration shares of refugees and stopping the meal of school students and the annual financial grant. Krähenbühl provided no real relief to the Palestinian refugees inside and outside Syria. He also separated the department of development from UNRWA's programs in order to turn it into a separate interest-based bank.
The Regular Budget: The financial deficit of the UNRWA increased from 150 million dollars in 2014 to 180 million dollars in 2016. The International grants also decreased in the reign of Krähenbühl for he is unable to convince the donor countries to continue provide aid to the refugees beside he failed to reach out new donors. In the time UNRWA claims it suffers from deficit in the budget, it cuts 50 million dollars from the budget for computerized program specialized for UNRWA's operations. The program annual operation's cost is 7 million dollars noting that it was 3 million dollars only.
The size and quality of these declines emphasize the following:-
1- UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl is an administratively failure person , and he is unable to carry out the tasks entrusted to him, and he is dispelling the capabilities of UNRWA ways that do not benefit the refugees.
2. The poor performance is a natural consequence of bad management, and UNRWA cannot be reformed in the presence of non-eligible leaders who are unable to exercise administrative methods that lead to the success of UNRWA work in relieving the Palestinian Refugees.
Therefore; The Coordinating Commission to Commemorate the 68th Anniversary of Nakba calls for:
1- Dismissal of UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl and his deputy Sandra Mitchell, replacing them with efficient leaders who can achieve the goals UNRWA was established for, and we warn that failure to respond our demand, will drive us to further events of escalation.
2- We call on the supervising body of UNRWA to intervene to address the administrative weaknesses of UNRWA's headquarters, and supply them with efficiencies who are able to get out of the UNRWA's crisis without affecting the services provided to the refugees.
3- We demand the national forces of the Palestinian people and the free world to stand in front of all these retreats and those who stand behind them in every way available.
The Coordinating Commission to Commemorate the 68th Anniversary of Nakba
8 October 2016