UNRWA condemns attack on its Summer Games location

23 May 2010

23 May 2010

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 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:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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