6 November 2019 The Head of UNRWA resigns amid investigations of mismanagement

Pierre Krahenbuhl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has resigned on 6 November due to ongoing investigations on mismanagement matters. The inquiry carried out by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) revealed management issues related specifically to Krahenbuhl. The resignation was communicated by the UNWRA Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, who recalled that “at this time, it is vital that member states and other partners remain committed to UNRWA and the services it provides”. The dismissal of the Commissioner-General takes place in the mid of a financial crisis that UNRWA is going through since the United States Government decided to stop all its funding to the agency in September 2018. The lack of funds is affecting the implementation of projects and the provision of services, as witnessed by the recent strike of UNRWA staff in Jordan, which was solved last 4 November with the agreement of rising the workers’ salaries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Christian Saunders as the officer-in-charge of UNRWA.