Palestine refugees in Syria support peace through football

07 May 2009

7 May 2009


Thousands of Palestine refugee football fans gathered across the region last night to witness a moment of historic proportions as the Palestine National Team competed valiantly against Belgium team FC Molenbeek Brussels in a friendly match dubbed "Goal for Peace."

Closer to home, the live broadcast was shown in the outdoor yard of Jarmak School in Yarmouk, Mr. Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestine Refugees, Lisa Gilliam, Acting Director of UNRWA in Syria, dozens of Palestine refugee youth and UNRWA staff cheered on the Palestine National Team. This event was one of many planned for 2009-2010 to pay tribute to six decades of UNRWA achievement.

The event saw emotions running high amongst spectators, most of whom were relishing in their first opportunity to see their national team play live. Although the Palestine National Team fought determinedly, victory narrowly eluded them in the second half of the match, scoring only three goals to the Belgians’ four.

Supported by member states of the European community, the event was incorporated into the broader ‘EU–UNRWA Partnership for Peace and Humanity’ initiative.

In addition to the excitement generated by this match in Yarmouk, 7,000 people gathered in Brussels to promote sport as a tool for development and peace. Proceeds generated from a performance by Sabreen, a popular Palestinian musical group, will go directly to support the UNRWA Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Watching the match in Yarmouk Camp

For information only       Not an official record

For further information, please contact:
Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 0940888103

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.

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