26 April 2013
For the fifth year, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Development Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Italy, has funded a three-day-sports event for young Palestine Refugees in UNRWA’s Siblin Training Centre. This fifth installment builds on the success of the previous four editions of “Palestiniadi”.
Palestiniadi aims to promote dialogue between the Lebanese and Palestine refugee communities by allowing young people to get acquainted and compete in three days of fun and games.
The initiative is organized in collaboration with UNRWA and the Italian Association UISP Sport Per Tutti. The opening of the games took place on 26 April in the presence of the Chargé d’affaires of the Italian Embassy, Mr. Riccardo Smimmo, the Cultural Attaché at the Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon, Mr. Maher Moshayel, the representative of the Lebanese Palestine Dialogue Committee Mr. Abdelnasser Al Ayi, as well as the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Mr. Roger Davies.
"We are particularly proud of this initiative, providing young men and women with the opportunity to excel, to give their best, to test themselves against others in a safe environment," said Mr. Ricardo Smimmo in a short speech he gave at a ceremony organized to celebrate the opening of the games.
Thanking Italy for its continuous support to UNRWA and to Palestine refugees, Roger Davies the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon said: “This wonderful event brings together for the fifth time Palestine refugee and Lebanese children. This time, we also have participants who are Palestine refugee and Syrian children that have fled here with their families to Lebanon. These games give them a chance to come together, play sports and compete in a healthy way.”
In the period from 26 to 28 April, more than 300 students hailing from all Palestine refugee camps throughout Lebanon, together with Lebanese students from various localities schools, will assemble at UNRWA‘s Siblin Training Center to take part in the planned activities. Scheduled events include races, football, table tennis, volleyball and basketball matches, as well as chess games and cultural activities.
On 28 April, UISP Sport Per Tutti is organizing the Vivicitta marathon, taking place in Saida and Baalbeck concurrently, and organized in collaboration with the Italian Cooperation and the municipalities of Saida and Baalbeck.
For the second consecutive year, 1500 Palestine refugee and Lebanese children – aged between 8 to 12 – will run along the Saida cornice under the slogan “run for rights, peace and the environment”. 800 Palestine refugee and Lebanese children will run in Baalbeck under the slogan “run for peace”.
This year, due to the ongoing crisis in Syria, Palestine refugees displaced from Syria, as well as Syrian refugees, will take part in the Vivicitta marathon. A number of Palestine refugees from Syria will also participate in the fifth edition of Palestiniadi.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 67.2 million.
For more information, please contact :
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724