UNRWA Receives PAM Prize for Excellence in the Mediterranean

27 October 2009

27 October 2009

East Jerusalem

UNRWA is honoured to have been awarded the PAM Prize for Excellence in the Mediterranean. The PAM Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean to individuals, organisations or institutions who contribute through their actions to establishing bridges among the peoples of the region so as to foster understanding, mutual respect, socio-economic cooperation, political dialogue, confidence building and conflict solutions.

The prize was awarded at the IV Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean where delegates were presented with a thorough overview of UNRWA’s activities by the Agency’s Commissioner-General Karen Abu Zayd.

In her speech, the Commissioner-General emphasised that the longer the international community lingers over achieving a solution to the conflict, the more license is lent to the erosion of the building blocks of a Palestinian State. This, in turn, makes the likelihood of a solution that will satisfy objective requirements of a just and lasting peace less feasible.

"The current search for a negotiated solution should be imbued with fresh urgency and inspired by innovative, principled approaches. It is time to work together to reverse trends with a view to creating a new dynamic for inclusive, all-encompassing dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians as a means towards the end of promoting a negotiated solution." continued Mrs Abu Zayd.

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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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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