UN refugee agency at mercy of detractors after head resigns

Krahenbuhl’s departure from Unrwa over accusations of mismanagement comes at precarious time

Pierre Krahenbuhl, who resigned as commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Wednesday. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Pierre Krahenbuhl, who resigned as commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Wednesday. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Accusations of mismanagement have precipitated the resignation of the head of the UN agency caring for 5.5 million Palestinian refugees, undermining its ability to function and threatening its very existence.

The departure of UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) commissioner general Pierre Krahenbuhl has left it in a precarious situation and at the mercy of detractors in Israel, the US and elsewhere. They have argued for decades that Unrwa is dysfunctional and should close.

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