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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. It does so by offering to a population of some 4.7 million refugees a range of human development and humanitarian services in primary and vocational education, primary health care, social safety-net, community support, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict.  UNRWA’s role also encompasses advocacy and actions to address the human rights and protection needs of Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The Agency’s core budget for 2010 and 2011 stands at $1.23 billion. In 2009, emergency appeals for the West Bank and Gaza amounted to $456.7 million, with an additional $370.7 million required for emergency and reconstruction activities in Nahr el Bared camp, Lebanon

UNRWA Summer Games in Gaza Strip: 240,000 children participated in the UNRWA Summer Games 2009 in Gaza . The figure is 40,000 higher than the number of pupils UNRWA cares for in Agency schools, showing the great support of the community for such Agency activities in the Gaza strip.

World Record Kite Flying: On 2 September 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records officially notified UNRWA that the attempt by the children of Gaza to achieve a new world record for the largest number of kites flown simultaneously was successful. In a letter of congratulation, the Guinness Book of World Records informed the Agency that the new record of 3,170 kites was approved. The previous record was 967. UNRWA organized the world record event at the Al-Waha beach in the Gaza Strip on 30 July 2009.

Equality in Action: creating space for girls and women to engage in social and recreational activities.

Children and Youth assistance project ( West Bank ): Recreational activities for a pool of approximately 200, 000 individuals.

UNRWA Siblin Training Center: For the 2nd consecutive year, from 25 to 27 September 2009, more than 530 Palestinian students coming from all the Palestinian camps throughout Lebanon , accompanied by their families and 40 athletic trainers, gathered at UNRWA Siblin Training Center . The event included sports activities and competitions in the fields of racing, football, table tennis, volleyball, basketball and chess games. This project aimed to give young Palestinians the opportunity to practice recreational activities in an enjoyable environment through the organization of sports events, as well as through the rehabilitation of sport centres within refugee camps. At the same time, “Palestiniadi” aims to promote dialogue and solidarity between Palestinian and Lebanese young people, drawing upon the active involvement of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC).

The 2009 Global Peace Games for Children and Youth were held at the Palestinian Athletics City in Yarmouk, Damascus . The event aims to bring attention to the important role of young people and sport as tools to promote global peace, friendship and community development. The event was organized by UNRWA with the support of UNICEF.


Programmatic Focal Point:

Ms. Elena Mancusi Materi
E-mail: emancusi(at)unog.ch

Communications Focal Point:

Mr. Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Tel. +972 2 589 0267

Mr. Sami Mshasha
Deputy Spokesperson
Tel. +972 589 0724


Refugees struggle to find space for sport in Lebanon 5 October 2012
(Source: UNRWA) – In Lebanon, Palestine refugee children and young people have restricted access to the public school system, and there is little room for sports and recreational activities. One teacher decided to do something about it.
Manchester City School of Football brings young refugees and Lebanese youth together 25 July 2012
Beirut, Lebanon (UNRWA) – Palestine refugees were among the 80 young people who completed a football training camp run by Manchester City in Lebanon this month. In partnership with UNRWA, the Manchester City School of Football brought two coaches from the United Kingdom to a refugee camp in Central Lebanon to bring professional sports training to boys and girls from both the refugee and Lebanese communities.
Realmadrid Foundation and UNRWA Unite for Palestine Refugee Children 24 November 2011
Madrid (UNRWA) – This evening Realmadrid Foundation and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) have signed a partnership agreement to promote sports programmes in UNRWA schools that will contribute to improving the lives of Palestine refugee children in the Middle East.
Gaza’s children defy raid on their UN camp to retake kite-flying record 28 July 2011
New York (UN News Centre) -- Defying intimidation, children in Gaza stood their ground to wrestle the world record for kite flying back from China, hours after their United Nations-run summer camp facility was attacked by unknown assailants.
UNRWA Formula One team from Gaza race up the medal table at Silverstone 25 July 2011
Jerusalem (UNRWA) -- A group of young women and men from Gaza have taken third prize in an international competition at the home of world motor racing, Silverstone, in the UK. The 11-strong team from UNRWA’s vocational training centre in Khan Younis won third prize for what was described as their “brilliant business plan”, which was part of the international racing competition in which they came an overall 13th. The team built a Formula One-style car largely from scrap meta...
A goal for Gaza: At 2011 Summer Games, 2,011 children set football world record 14 July 2011
Rafah, Gaza (UNRWA) -- The children of Gaza today set their second Guinness World Record in as many weeks, for the largest number of footballs dribbled simultaneously. In an event organised by UNRWA as part of its 2011 Gaza Summer Games programme, 2,011 children gathered in Kherbit El-Addas, Rafah, to attempt the record breaker.

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