UNRWA Dignity for All takes to the street for Beirut Marathon

28 November 2011

28 November 2011
Beirut, Lebanon

More than 270 UNRWA students took part to the ninth BLOM Beirut Marathon in the Lebanese capital on Sunday 27 November.

The Beirut Marathon 2011 was dedicated to charity awareness and invited all participants to run for a cause, under the slogan ‘Take it to the street’.

As part of the Agency’s Dignity for All project, UNRWA students aged between 14 and 17 ran five to ten kilometres for dignity.

The Marathon’s 31,000 runners from more than 84 countries took 42 humanitarian causes to the streets of Beirut.

The Dignity for All project, launched by UNRWA and funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office, calls for changing the mutual perceptions between the Lebanese and Palestine Refugees Communities through raising awareness and using a key message “Palestinians are refugees in Lebanon but they deserve to live in dignity until a just solution to their plight is found”.

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.

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