Arab-Israeli Conflict Through Stamps/Refugees/UNRWA

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War by the United Nations General Assembly under resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949. This was supposed to be a relief agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to hundreds of thousand Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict. It is a separate body from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which is the only other UN agency aiding refugees, dedicated to aiding all refugees in the world.

The World Refugee Year was officially launched on 28 June 1959. The idea was initiated by the United Kingdom and approved by the General Assembly in a resolution adopted on 5 December 1958. The basic idea of a World Refugee Year was that a special purely humanitarian effort should be made to bring refugee problems nearer to a solution. The emblem of the WRY was an uprooted oak tree. It depicted the refugees being uprooted from their own home. However, for the official United Nations stamps Olav Mathiesen from Denmark designed a special emblem that became the official UNHCR logo. UNRWA was not a part of the UNHCR, however many Arab countries used this symbol as their UNRWA symbol. The symbol was introduced on Arab stamps from 1960 with the introduction of the World Refugee Year. Often, they added the notation "UNRWA for Palestine Refugees".