American Friends of UNRWA races for the kids of Gaza

15 June 2012

15 June 2012
Washington, DC

Goals were shattered at American Friends of UNRWA’s (AFU) first annual Gaza Solidarity 5K walk/run in Washington, DC, on 9 June! With warm weather and blue skies, over 300 men, women, children, and even pets from all across the United States and beyond came out to Rock Creek Park to support the kids of Gaza. In total, over USD 50,000 was raised to support UNRWA’s community mental health programme, providing summertime counselling to more than 1,200 Gazan kids in need.

Some participants were serious about running; others were just serious about the cause.  Participant Rama said, “Being part of this fundraising effort for UNRWA is the least I can do for an agency whose work hits particularly close to home. My father was among those educated at UNRWA schools while growing up in the Yarmouk refugee district in Damascus, Syria.”

See photos of the run on the American Friends of UNRWA Facebook page.

AFU would like to extend special thanks to our generous sponsors: Consolidated Contractors Company, Bank of Palestine, ANERA, the PLO delegation to the United States, Drink More Water, and CI Lanyards. AFU looks forward to holding the second annual Gaza Solidarity 5K walk/run in Washington, DC, next spring.

American Friends of UNRWA

American Friends of UNRWA (AFU) is an independent non-profit organisation that provides support for the humanitarian work of the UNRWA through advocacy, fundraising and education. AFU aims to educate the general American public about the situation of the Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA’s programmes in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. US taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions for donations made through American Friends of UNRWA.

To learn more about the work of American Friends of UNRWA, visit AFU online.

For more information, or to be sponsor or participant in next year’s 5K, contact:

Abby Smardon
Executive Director
American Friends of UNRWA
[email protected]

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.

For more information, please contact:

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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