The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) website (accessed Mar. 8, 2004), contained the following description of its activities vis-à-vis Palestinian Refugees:
"Since its establishment, the Agency [UNRWA] has delivered its services
in times of relative calm in the Middle East, and in times of
hostilities. It has fed, housed and clothed tens of thousands of
fleeing refugees and at the same time educated and given health care to
hundreds of thousands of young refugees."
Bernard Lewis, PhD, Professor Emeritus of near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in his 2002 book The Arabs in History wrote:
"By a sad paradox, the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations and its agencies made matters on the whole rather worse than better. U.N. peacemaking could stop the fighting, but not make peace, and thus prevented a decisive outcome one way or the other.
The U.N. financed and operated refugee camps in Arab countries, at immense cost -- in the first twenty years the figure reached $700,000,000, of which the United States provided two-thirds. These camps kept the refugees alive, and spared them and the governments concerned the need to confront the alternatives of repatriation or resettlement. Many in fact found new careers, but generations later, most of them and their descendants in Arab countries other than Jordan remain stateless refugees.
All this is in striking contrast with the almost contemporary partition of British India, which ended with mutual recognition and the resettlement as citizens of vastly greater numbers of refugees."