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Re-thinking the Financing of UNRWA
 
In partnership with the Heinrich Böll Foundation - Palestine and Jordan (hbs), The Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) hosted a series of four expert workshops to deliberate “Re-thinking the Financing of UNRWA, 2020-2030”. 
The workshops conducted virtually (under Chatham House convention), were attended by a diverse Panel of Experts, both Palestinian and international, to debate various topics surrounding the financing of UNRWA. These included representatives of refugee groups in Palestine, as well as Palestinian civil society and policy-influencers comprising academics, commentators, and activists. The project convener, Dr. Michael Dumper (Professor in Middle East Politics, University of Exeter, U.K.), is well-placed to act as an independent scholarly shepherd of this collaborative, interdisciplinary project.
At the four workshops the following presentations were made by different experts and discussed by the Panel: 
 
1) Enabling mandate implementation: Private Partnerships 
Precedents on planning UNRWA’s future: lessons from the Policy Advisory Group 2010-2011
 
2) What are the 'core services’ of UNRWA?
Increasing the proportion of UN member states’ Assessed Dues for UNRWA
 
3) Holding the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property to Account
UNHCR’s Islamic Philanthropy Model
 
4) UNRWA the Green Economy and its potential for refugee resilience
Identifying Priorities of Action for UNRWA
 
Professor Dumper worked both with Palestinian refugee groups and with UNRWA and the wider donor community. He is author of several books on Jerusalem and also on the Palestinian refugee issue: The Future of the Palestinian Refugees: Towards Equity and Peace (2007); editor of Palestinian Refugee Repatriation: Global Perspectives (2006) and joint editor of International Law and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (2010) In March 2016, he carried out a study for UK’s Department of International Development entitled Challenges Facing UNRWA in an Uncertain Future and, in September 2020, a study for MAS entitled The future of UNRWA in the face of financial challenges and political pressure. As founder and convener of the “Academic Friends of UNRWA”, which has held annual and bi-annual workshops with senior UNRWA management including successive Commissioner-Generals of UNRWA and also a range of refugee representatives, he has worked closely with key stakeholders for the past ten years.
 
The project was preceded in August 2020 by a broad assessment of the issues in a MAS Roundtable: 
 
 
 
Workshop 1 

Summary :

UNRWA 2020-2030: Rethinking the Financing of UNRWA

Presentations :

Enabling mandate implementation:Private Partnerships Co-Chair Non-Paper for the International Conference

Backgrounds : 

Report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Resource mobilization strategy 2019-2021

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Workshop 2 

Summary :

UNRWA 2020-2030: Rethinking the Financing of UNRWA

Presentations :

MAS/UNRWA Expert Panel Workshop Series, 16 June Talking Points: What are the “core services” of UNRWA?

Presentation by Ambassador Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

Backgrounds : 

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 2020

Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Memorandum on Postponement of Action on UNRWA Draft Resolution (A/71/L.79)

UNRWA’s services: neither 'core’ nor 'mandated’, but 'sanctuarized’ and 'negotiated’

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Workshop 3 

Summary :

UNRWA 2020-2030: Rethinking the Financing of UNRWA

Presentations :

Holding the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property to Account

Backgrounds : 

Palestinian Claims for Reparation in International Context

UNHCR’S ISLAMIC PHILANTHROPY MODEL

UNHCR’S 2020 ISLAMIC PHILANTHROPY, MID-YEAR REPORT - WINTER EDITION

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Workshop 4

Presentations :

UNRWA 2020-2030 - Re-thinking the financing of UNRWA

 
Backgrounds:

The Costs of Fuelling Humanitarian Aid

Green Economy, Circular Economy:Can UNRWA be a catalyst for change?

RENEWABLES FOR REFUGEE SETTLEMENTS -SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ACCESS IN HUMANITARIAN SITUATIONS