Summer Fun Days for refugee children bring Europe to the West Bank

25 June 2013
27 June 2013
Jerusalem
 
 
 
For the third year in a row, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will be able to invite nearly 6,000 Palestine refugee children in the West Bank to participate in the EU-UNRWA Summer Fun Days, thanks to generous funding from the European Union. 
 
From 23 June to 4 July, 55 UNRWA schools in the West Bank will open their gates for two weeks of learning and fun, providing children with a chance to enjoy their summer break and have a respite from the difficulties of their daily lives.
 
The participants, both boys and girls, will have the opportunity to take part in several recreational, sport and art activities featuring European-inspired poetry, theatre and musical performances.
 
“The European Union is a strong believer in the work of UNRWA, and has proven its commitment to Palestine refugee youth time and again,” Director of UNRWA Operations in West Bank Felipe Sanchez said “This year, the Summer Fun Days will give priority to students who live in Area C or near the Barrier, giving them a small break from the difficult circumstances they live in. We are also focusing accommodating students with disabilities and special needs.“
 
"We are delighted to support the EU-UNRWA Summer Fun Games for the third year. I would like to thank UNRWA for giving the chance to so many children across the West Bank to learn about the European history and culture through games. I want to pay tribute to UNRWA teachers whose commitment and personal engagement has made the ‘fun games‘ an annual tradition", said EU Representative Mr. John Gatt-Rutter. 
 
The Summer Fun Days are an important part of UNRWA’s efforts to support refugee children and help them reach their full potential. The Agency consistently works to improve its educational standards and psychosocial system throughout its schools in the West Bank, Education and related opportunities are the first step to creating a better future for children and young people., . 
 
Support from the EU has been vital to the Agency. The EU has been UNRWA’s largest donor since 1971, with the bulk of its financial support devoted to the General Fund, enabling UNRWA to provide essential education, health and social relief services to Palestine refugees. 
 
To find out more about the EU’s assistance to Palestine refugees, visit the Europa website  
 
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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 five 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 US$ 65 million. 

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

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 US$ 56 million.

For more information, please contact:

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