Finland Supports Children's Summer Event in Gaza

07 July 2010

7 July 2010

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen has granted 1.5 million Euros in financial support to the Gaza Summer Games 2010, a children‘s event organised by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

The Games offer children a break from the conflict and the poverty that surrounds them, by organising summer holiday activities that enhance and contribute to tolerance. The project is designed to support the local community more generally.

The situation in Gaza limits opportunities for children in the area to play and have fun, opportunities which would help them develop hopes and plans for the future.

Finland is the single biggest sponsor of the project.

Background Information

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 more than US$ 106  million.

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