UN official responsible for Palestinian Refugees resigns

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The Head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency responsible for Palestinian Refugees has resigned. The Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl informed the Secretary General that he was resigning effective immediately after an earlier being placed on administrative leave until an investigation into allegations of misconduct were concluded.

The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services submitted a preliminary investigative report to the Secretary General who had placed Krähenbühl on administrative leave until further questions are addressed.

In an earlier statement the UN indicated that the preliminary findings of the Office of Internal Oversight excluded fraud or misappropriation of operational funds by the Commissioner-General but did flag managerial issues that needed to be addressed.

After announcing that Krähenbühl, a Swiss national, would be placed on administrative leave, the UN Spokesperson later updated correspondents that he resigned.  The Secretary General Antonio Guterres thanked Krähenbühl for his commitment and dedication to UNRWA and Palestinian refugees.

The organisation was notified in March that an investigation was underway by the UN Secretariat based on allegations received against UNRWA personnel in relation to unsatisfactory conduct. The United States and Israel have accused UNRWA of mismanagement and anti-Israeli bias while the US halted its annual aid of $360 million.