UNRWA and Qatar Celebrate Sports Day with Palestine Refugee Students in Lebanon Supported by the Qatar Fund for Development and Education Above All Foundation

21 December 2018
In the presence of the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone, an UNRWA student from the Nablus Girls' School presents a gift to His Excellency Ambassador of Qatar to Lebanon, Mohammed Hassan al-Jabir.  © 201 UNRWA Photo by Ahmad Mahmoud

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) organized a Sports Day to mark the support from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the Education Above All Foundation. The State of Qatar contributed generously to support the UNRWA education programme in 2018. The activities of the Sport Day took place at the UNRWA Nablus Girls School in Saida in the south of Lebanon.

The activities were held in coordination with the Qatar Fund for Development. The Qatar contribution of US$ 50 million to the Agency’s education programme in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank was vital for the decision to open UNRWA schools on time in September 2018.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Qatari Ambassador, His Excellency Mohammed Hassan Al Jabir, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Claudio Cordone, the representative of the chairman of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC), Dr. Zoehir Hawari, and the representative of the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Maher Meshayel. The Sports Day in the Qatar-sponsored Nablus Girls School is part of a series of events aimed to celebrate the right to education for Palestine refugees implemented by UNRWA in recognition of the generous support provided by Qatar to the Agency for 2018.

In his speech, His Excellency the Qatari Ambassador said: “Believing in the right of the Palestinian people to enjoy their human and educational rights, and in the context of the shared responsibility, the State of Qatar seeks to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people whenever they may be, at home or in neighboring countries, and works to secure a decent life for them and support their right to education by supporting the construction or repairing of schools, through UNRWA.”

In response to this outstanding contribution, Mr. Cordone expressed his gratitude and said: “UNRWA expresses its deepest appreciation and gratitude to Qatar for its substantial support to the Palestine refugee community. With this support, UNRWA was able to reopen all schools this 2018/2019 scholastic year. This has enabled us to protect the right to education for Palestine refugee children.”

In his speech, Dr. Hawari thanked both UNRWA and the State of Qatar and called for the continuity of support to Palestine refugees.

With this generous contribution, Qatar has become one of the top UNRWA donors and will have a major impact on the Agency’s ability to continue its vital services to the Palestine refugee community during this period of difficult financial crisis.

The partnership between UNRWA and Qatar has been developing for years and, with this unprecedented donation, it is now entering a new phase, focusing primarily on quality education, including emergency education.

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 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Huda Samra
Communications Advisor – Lebanon (Arabic and Francophone)
+961 81 666 134