Vulnerability of Palestinian refugees reaching level not seen for generations

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Palestinian families seek shelter at an UNRWA school after evacuating their homes north of the Gaza Strip. File Photo: UNRWA

The "vulnerability and isolation" of Palestinian refugees is approaching a level that has not been seen for generations.

That's according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

There are 5.2 million Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and surrounding countries.

Matthew Wells has more.

The UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, updated the General Assembly on the agency's work, by saying that the challenges facing refugees have rarely been greater.

He said a funding crisis which threatened to keep schools for Palestinian children permanently closed last year had been narrowly averted, but now there were bigger challenges being faced this year by all Palestinian refugees:

"Their vulnerability and isolation is being intensified, reaching levels not seen in generations as conflicts expand in the Middle East region and thrust one community after another into extreme insecurity…The present situation has created a new existential crisis"

He said that extra funding from UN Member States to meet a major budget shortfall was still urgently needed, and the disruption to the agency's school system in conflict areas of Syria and elsewhere, continued to be profound.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

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