Zain and UNRWA commence SMS fundraising campaign

23 August 2010

23 August 2010

Zain announces the start of a Middle East-wide marketing campaign to promote fundraising activities in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The campaign, funded by Zain Group, aims to create awareness of the Agency‘s humanitarian work in the region in an effort to enlist financial support for UNRWA’s health and education work with Palestinian refugees.

This partnership is the first between UNRWA and a private sector company from the region. The marketing campaign follows the signing in June 2010 of two cooperative agreements between Zain Group and Zain Jordan and UNRWA to support and finance the Agency‘s largely underfunded health and educational projects for the roughly 5 million Palestinian refugees spread across the Middle East.

Nabeel Bin Salameh, CEO of Zain Group, said: "We are proud to enter into a strategic partnership with UNRWA; we see a synergy of values and an ability for our group to lend a hand.

"Our partnership with UNRWA is long term and this initial phase of our intervention aims to help create awareness for the Agency‘s mission in the region."

Zain’s customers in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan can support UNRWA‘s humanitarian mission by donating money directly to the Agency‘s various programmes in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and the West Bank. Customers can send an SMS to their corresponding country‘s specially assigned code. All proceeds will be channelled directly to UNRWA.

"We have been monitoring the good work UNRWA has been doing in our Levant region. We were also aware of the funding strains the Agency is experiencing in raising funds to meet its humanitarian obligations. We felt responsible and able to leverage our technology and market spread to provide some much needed support," said Dr Abdul Malek Al Jaber, CEO, Zain Jordan/Levant.

The six-week SMS fundraising and advertising campaign, consisting of specially made TV, print, billboard and online advertising across the region, will promote UNRWA‘s universal humanitarian values and objectives on its 60th anniversary, showcasing the work the Agency does and its impact on Palestinian refugees.

The highlight of the campaign is a "reality" TV ad shot in Lebanon‘s Burj Barajneh refugee camp, capturing the real lives of Palestinians living in the area. In doing this Zain hopes to open the world‘s eyes to the unenviable conditions in the camps, and encourage viewers to contribute to a better future for all Palestinian refugees.

Since its establishment in 1950, UNRWA has been the primary source of humanitarian services for around 5 million refugees in the Middle East. The Agency has been providing services for four generations of displaced people, donating food, clothes, shelter, education and health services.

The respective country SMS short codes and cost per SMS that Zain customers can donate are:

  • Bahrain (1111) - (1BD per SMS)
  • Jordan (90008) - (1JD per SMS)
  • Kuwait (99888) - (0.5 KD per SMS)
  • Saudi Arabia (700427) - (10 SAR per SMS)
  • Sudan (1155) - (5 SDG per SMS)


About Zain

Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East providing mobile voice and data services to over 34.2 million active customers, with a commercial presence in 8 countries. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. In Lebanon, the company manages ‘mtc-touch‘ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a stake in Wana Telecom through a joint venture. For more information, please visit or email


UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict.

For more information please contact:

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972-(0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

Marwa Taktak
Public Information Assistant
Mobile: +972 (0)54 572 5628
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0779
Jawwal: +972 (0)59 792 2250

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

donate 800