UNRWA Commissioner-General welcomes singer, Mohammad Assaf, to UNRWA headquarters in Gaza

26 June 2013
UNRWA Commissioner-General welcomes singer, Mohammad Assaf, to UNRWA headquarters in Gaza

The Commissioner-General thanked Assaf for taking on the role of UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine refugees


The Commissioner General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, welcomed Arab Idol winner, Mohammad Assaf, to UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, and thanked him for accepting the role of UNRWA’s first ever “Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees”. Speaking in front of hundreds of UNRWA staff, Grandi said Mohammad  “had  brought us all together in a rare moment of celebration”.
Mohammad had accepted the UNRWA appointment well before his final victory in Beirut “without hesitation”, saying that he was determined to serve UNRWA and the Palestine refugees “as best he could”.
During the meeting in Gaza, Mohammad Assaf said “I am extremely proud for being named UNRWA’s youth ambassador for Palestine refugees. I give my solemn promise to UNRWA and the refugee youth to be an effective representative to them”. 
Grandi  added, “we are all truly proud that a young man who received his education in an UNRWA school in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza and whose family has a long association with UNRWA has emerged onto the world stage to such universal acclaim. His golden voice speaks to and for all of us. He is indeed an ambassador: for his generation and for his people. It with great joy that I can say to you all, he is now also an UNRWA ambassador for Palestine Refugees.
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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
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