Jordanian colleges, clinics shut as UN Palestinian company strikes


AMMAN, Jordan — 1000’s of workers of the UN company for Palestinian refugees went on strike in Jordan on Sunday, shutting colleges and well being facilities that present providers for greater than two million folks.

The strike demanding pay raises is being noticed by round 7,000 employees, UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshamsha mentioned, and comes because the company faces an unprecedented monetary disaster.

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It has delivered to a standstill work at UNRWA colleges, clinics and facilities offering social welfare to refugees throughout Jordan, Mshamsha mentioned.

“We deplore this strike and we’re nervous concerning the influence it’ll have on the providers supplied to the refugees,” he mentioned.

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Refugee schoolchildren attend an official ceremony to return to high school at one of many UNRWA colleges at a Palestinian refugee camp Al-Wehdat, in Amman, Jordan, September 2, 2018. (AP Photograph / Raad Adayleh)

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A union of UNRWA employees mentioned the motion that started Sunday morning was “open-ended” and all employees members had been observing it.

College students ought to keep at residence as UNRWA-run colleges and universities would stay closed, it mentioned.

Greater than two million Palestinians are registered as refugees with UNRWA in Jordan. The company runs 169 colleges within the kingdom — the place some 120,000 college students are enrolled — in addition to a school of science and academic arts, 25 major healthcare facilities and different providers.

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UNRWA offers very important education and medical providers to some 5 million Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Financial institution, in addition to east Jerusalem.

On this January 14, 2018 picture, a Palestinian lady has her little one checked at an UNRWA-run clinic within the Shati refugee camp, Gaza Metropolis. (AP Photograph/ Khalil Hamra)

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In 2018, the USA suspended and later lower all funding for UNRWA, inflicting a monetary disaster that threatened to see its colleges and hospitals closed.

US President Donald Trump’s administration, together with Israel, accuse UNRWA of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian battle by extending refugee standing to tens of millions of descendants of Palestinians who fled or had been pressured out of houses in at present’s Israel on the time of the institution of the Jewish state in 1948, quite than limiting refugee standing solely to the unique refugees, as is the norm with most refugee populations worldwide.

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The company disputes that and says the very important providers it offers would in any other case not be out there to Palestinians who profit from them.

The group’s woes had been compounded by the allegations of abuse by the company’s administration, main different key donors — the Netherlands and Switzerland — to snap shut their purses.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations appealed to the worldwide group to defund UNRWA within the wake of the ethics report.

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Commissioner Basic for the United Nations Aid and Works Company for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl speaks throughout a press convention on the United Nations Data middle in Cairo on September 10, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / Khaled DESOUKI)

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In June UNRWA commissioner normal Pierre Krahenbuhl advised a information convention in Amman that the company confronted an anticipated $211 million shortfall in funding for 2019, calling on donors to fill the hole.

Mshamsha mentioned the union has demanded a wage enhance of 200 Jordanian dinars (round $280) however agreed to ask for half that quantity following negotiations with UNRWA.

UNRWA, nevertheless, mentioned it might solely conform to a wage enhance of 70 dinars per thirty days, he mentioned.

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“Sadly the union rejected the provide and determined to go forward with the strike,” Mshamsha mentioned, calling on the union to return to negotiations.

Occasions of Israel employees contributed to this report.

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