Zain’s UNRWA TV commercial scoops 3 top awards

14 February 2011

Leading Middle East telecom operator Zain’s UNRWA TV commercial has won three prizes – best production, best director and best soundtrack – at the annual MENA Cristal Awards, held recently in Lebanon.

The prizes were for UNRWA 60 Years - It‘s a Wonderful Life, a 60-second film about Palestinian refugees, sponsored by Zain and produced by Lebanon-based City Films Production House.

The film was the centerpiece of a six-week regional marketing campaign across all media in the summer of 2010 to promote fundraising in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The campaign, sponsored by Zain Group, created awareness for the Agency’s humanitarian work in the region, on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, in an effort to enlist financial support for the Agency’s work in the areas of health and education for the benefit of Palestinian refugees.

“This is yet another example of our diversity outside the boundaries of our core business,” said Zain Group chief commercial officer Bashar Al Arafeh.

Chris Gunness, head of communications at UNRWA, added: "With creative partnerships such as ours with Zain, we can put the Palestine refugee issue on the map as well as make the case for proper funding for UNRWA. This ad is just one example of what can be done in terms of advocacy and awareness-raising when UNRWA‘s creative team partners with the private sector."

A version of this article originally appeared on the news site Trade Arabia.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.