03 October 2016

On Thursday, 15 September, Visit Palestine and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed a contribution agreement that will see 5 per cent of sales profits from Visit Palestine’s gift shop in Bethlehem and 10 per cent of sales profits from Visit Palestine’s online gift shop donated to UNRWA in support of the Agency’s education programme.

“This newly established partnership with Visit Palestine is a testament to our shared commitment to bettering the lives of Palestine refugees,” said Misbah Sheikh, the Chief of the Partnerships Division at UNRWA. “We are deeply grateful for their support to our education programme and to the roughly half a million students who have started the new school year.”

“Supporting Palestinian refugees is our duty and we are proud of this new partnership with UNRWA and we hope our contributions will make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters,” said Sami Khoury, Founder and General Manager of Visit Palestine.  “The future lies with the next generation and this is why we opted to directly support UNRWA education programmes.”

Visit Palestine is a tourism service provider based in Bethlehem that works to promote and support the local tourism industry in Palestine and offers travel information, tourism services and a gift shop offering products made in Palestine. This is the first agreement between Visit Palestine and UNRWA.


UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness

Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications


+972 (0)54 240 2659


+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha

Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson


+972 (0)54 216 8295


+972 (0)2 589 0724