UNRWA condemns attack on its Summer Games location

23 May 2010

23 May 2010
Gaza

UNRWA condemns attack on its Summer Games locationAt 0230 on Sunday 23 May 2010, a group of approximately 30 armed and masked men attacked and set fire to an UNRWA recreation facility under construction on the beach in Gaza City. The location is one of 35 beach facilities currently under construction, which will form part of UNRWA’s annual “Summer Games” programme for over 250,000 refugee children in Gaza, due to commence on 12 June.

UNRWA’s Director of Operations in Gaza, John Ging, condemned the incident, calling it :“vandalism linked to extremism and an attack on the happiness of children.” He went on to reassure parents and the children of Gaza that: “UNRWA will not be intimidated by such acts and will quickly rebuild the location in good time to host the Summer Games.”

UNRWA‘s Summer Games, conducted for the fourth year with the full support and involvement of the community, is the largest recreation programme for Gaza’s children providing a diversified set of activities including sports, swimming, arts and crafts, theatre and drama. It is of immense physical and psychological importance for children who would otherwise have no other similar recreation opportunity.

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:

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

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