Tuesday, November 24, 2020

UN schools in Gaza close due to budget shortfall, industrial action

By Editor - August 24, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nablus] [Jenin] [Ramallah]

More than 200,000 Gazan school children were forced to return home early on the first day of the new school year after local staff at UN schools there announced industrial action over pay and an increase in classroom capacity.


According to the Associated Press, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the branch of the United Nations that advocates Palestinian rights, staff are protesting cost cutting measures that would freeze pay of teaching staff in the Gaza strip, while increasing the number of students enrolled at UN run schools.


The AP reported that an estimated 13,000 teachers, health workers, and general staff are participating in the strike. Although demonstrations have occurred outside the UNRWA’s offices in recent months, a demonstration outside the agency’s Gaza headquarters Monday were the largest of recent weeks.


"We didn’t want to suspend classes, but the administration of UNRWA pushed us to take that step," secretary general of the union of UNRWA employees, Raafat Hamdouna said of the industrial action, Ma’an News Agency reported Monday.


Schools run by the Hamas government in Gaza did not participate in the strike and will remain open.


UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl had warned in July the organisation would run out of money by September due to a $100 million budgetary shortfall. “This year’s financial crisis is the most severe that we have ever faced,” Krähenbühl said at the time.



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