Manchester City School of Football brings young refugees and Lebanese youth together

26 July 2012

25 July 2012
Beirut, Lebanon

Palestine refugees were among the 80 young people who completed a football training camp run by Manchester City in Lebanon this month. In partnership with UNRWA, the Manchester City School of Football brought two coaches from the United Kingdom to a refugee camp in Central Lebanon to bring professional sports training to boys and girls from both the refugee and Lebanese communities.

Between the ages of 6 and 16, the refugee youth came from the Dbayeh and Shatila camps, and were joined by their Lebanese peers from the surrounding areas. The training, dubbed “Play with dignity, live with dignity”, was a rare opportunity for children from the two communities to meet each other in a recreational setting.

The Manchester City School of Football handed out certificates to the participants at a ceremony today. In attendance were the Mr. Robert Hurt from UNRWA, Ms. Abda Sharif, Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Lebanon, Mr. Firas Abil Mona from the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Mr. Khaled Abadi from the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon, Mr. Mohammad Al Kaabi representing the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, and Vincenzo Schiano Lomoriello from the Italian embassy in Lebanon.

In 2010, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) launched the “Dignity for All” project in Lebanon, advocating for the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees living in Lebanon. Events such as Manchester City’s football training fulfill many of the campaign’s goals, such as fostering dialogue between Palestine refugees and the Lebanese community.

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For further information please contact UNRWA’s public information office in Lebanon:
Tel and fax: +961-1-840468 or by e-mail:

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:

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