It's the abbreviated name for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The agency focuses on providing education, healthcare, social services, and emergency aid to over 4.4 million registered Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. With a staff exceeding 24,000 employees, a significant portion are Palestinian refugees themselves.

Established in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 by UN General Assembly Resolution 202 in December 1949, it began its field operations in early May 1950. Originally set to function for 30 years, the UN General Assembly has continually renewed its mandate due to the ongoing Palestinian issue, extending the last mandate renewal until June 20, 2011.

UNRWA defines Palestinian refugees as those who resided in Palestine between June 1946 and lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 war. This definition includes their descendants.

One-third of the registered refugees live in 58 recognized camps within the agency's operational area in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. The remaining two-thirds reside in scattered locations within major cities of these countries, the West Bank, and Gaza.

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