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 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,  projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 96.5 million. 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
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724