Join the children of Gaza and run the Gaza Marathon

08 December 2011

Registration opens for UNRWA’s second Gaza Marathon on 1 March 2012

8 December 2011

Runners at Gaza Marathon 2011 The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, invites runners from around the world to join 2,000 children, including children with special needs, for the 2012 Gaza Marathon on 1 March 2012.

The Marathon, being held for the second year, raises money for UNRWA’s Summer Games. The Games provide a safe place for 250,000 children in Gaza to play, make friends and express themselves freely; an experience that sadly is unique for children growing up in the blockaded territory.

UNRWA relies upon the generosity of its donors to carry out Summer Games. The 2011 Marathon raised over US$ 1 million for Summer Games and the Agency hopes to raise even more from the 2012 Marathon.

The tiny Gaza Strip, surrounded by Israel, Egypt, and the Mediterranean, is 42km long, exactly the length of an official marathon. Along the north-south route from Beit Hanoun to Rafah, nearly 2,000 children will run relays, while adults, from professional Gazan athletes training for the Olympics to amateur runners, will run the full marathon.

For more information and a registration form, email

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact: