23. Maintain UNRWA While Pursuing Deep and Meaningful Reforms

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is badly in need of reform, but it is also responsible for the education, healthcare, and social services of millions of Palestinians in 59 refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Because of financial uncertainty, UNRWA is in danger of not being able to sustain its operations, which will result in chaos and a security nightmare for Israel. There is no other organization that can step in overnight and assume all of UNRWA’s responsibilities, but real reform is needed in order to address concerns over neutrality, good-governance, and sustainability, and in order to focus on UNRWA’s mandate as a services organization rather than have it assume an unwarranted political role. UNRWA should be fully funded for a limited period while it undertakes a series of structural reforms, at which points its role and capabilities should be reevaluated.