20 June 2011
Today in Gaza, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Co-operation took part, quite literally, in the fifth Summer Games organised by the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA. Ms Gunilla Carlsson visited the UNRWA girls’ school at Jabalia where she joined in the recreational activities, even dancing the traditional Palestinian Dabke. Her visit was hosted by UNRWA Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi.
During six weeks of the summer, UNRWA provides recreational, sporting, cultural and educational activities for about a quarter of a million children, given them a sense of fun and normality in an environment which is anything but normal. This year, the children will attempt establish or break no less than four Guinness Book of World records including those for the largest number of people dribbling footballs and the largest number of people flying kites.
“Sweden was the third largest donor to UNRWA and the fourth largest donor to UNRWA’s General Fund in 2010. The General Fund provides cores services in education, health, relief and social services to as many as 4.8 million Palestine refugees. Already this year, Sweden has given USD 44 million to UNRWA’s General Fund. In addition to its core support to UNRWA, this year, Sweden has provided USD 8.6 million to UNRWA’s emergency activities in the West Bank and Gaza, supporting the Agency’s programmes aimed at addressing both the immediate and longer-term consequences of the conflict in these areas.