UNRWA film receives prize in international festival
10 June 2013
A film by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) received second prize in the 5th Millennium International Documentary Film Festival in Brussels on Sunday.
Directed by UNRWA filmmaker Johan Eriksson, The Road to Silverstone tells the story of a group of young Palestine refugees who succeeded in building a Formula 1 racing car, the first ever such car built in Gaza, and in bringing it to compete at the Formula Student competition at Britain’s famous Silverstone Circuit. Picturing the dreams of a group of young men and women and the challenges facing them, the film presents a side of life in Gaza rarely seen by the outside world. The 11 young people who collaborated on building the car were all trained at UNRWA’s vocational training centre in Khan Younis, set up with the aim of providing training and learning opportunities for young people from poor backgrounds in the Gaza Strip.
Dedicated to the eight Millennium Development Goals and related social, cultural and environmental issues, the Millennium Film Festival screens high-quality documentaries from all over the world and brings together an international public of filmmakers, intellectuals and policy experts. Over 100 movies were shown at the 2013 festival, and 18 were selected for the international competition, including The Road to Silverstone.
The participation of the film in the festival was made possible thanks to the generous support of the European Union.
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UNRWA is the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East. This UN agency was established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at USD 65 million.
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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.
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