UNRWA Rejects False Accusations About its Summer Fun Weeks in Gaza

20 June 2013

Statement attributable to UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness

20 June 2013
UNRWA categorically rejects the accusations made by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center based in Israel that its Summer Fun Weeks for 150,000 children in Gaza promote extremism. The accusation was put out by an Israeli Government Spokesperson but retracted from the relevant Israeli Government website when the falsehood was pointed out. 
As I have said before, anyone, be it a media organisation or a government department, should check with UNRWA before putting out false reports that will inevitably damage their credibility. UNRWA’s Summer Fun Weeks provide the next generation in Gaza with a sense of normality amid life under blockade. They are conducted in accordance with universally accepted United Nations values. 

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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