Yusuf Islam Releases Song for the Children of Gaza

26 January 2009

26 January 2009

East Jerusalem

Renowned musician Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) today released a charity song from which all proceeds will be donated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Save the Children to aid children and families in the Gaza Strip.

The new recording of the song ‘The day the world gets round‘, originally recorded by George Harrison, features Yusuf on vocals and Klaus Voorman, known to many as the fifth Beatle, on bass.

Yusuf explained that he hoped the song will “help remind people of the immense legacy of love, peace and happiness we can share when we get round to looking at mankind’s futile wars and prejudices, and start to change our foolish ways.”

UNRWA welcomes this generous donation which will help the Agency to continue its vital work in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA has been operating in Gaza for 60 years. During the three-week Israeli offensive in Gaza, UNRWA was the biggest Humanitarian Agency operating on the ground. UNRWA provided over 50,000 civilians refuge in over 50 improvised shelters, mostly in its school buildings, and was the focal point for supply of humanitarian and medical aid to the Strip.

Now that a cease-fire is tentatively holding UNRWA is playing a leading role in recovery response as well as providing on-going education, health relief and social services. This includes providing schooling for over 196,000 children and food aid to over 750,000 refugees.

For more information please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972-(0)54-240-2659
Office: +972-(0)2-589-0267

- Ends -

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$ 100 million.

For more information, please contact: