UNRWA steps up Syria emergency campaign with TV ad

06 November 2012

East Jerusalem

With the violence in Syria intensifying by the day, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is stepping up its emergency fundraising appeal for the country with a TV advertising campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the plight of the most vulnerable civilians in Syria, including the 500,000 Palestine refugees in the country.
With generous support from private companies in the UK and the Arab world, the Agency is now airing English and Arabic television commercials on major channels in those regions. The campaign will soon be extended to countries such as Spain and the US.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said: “Our partners have worked with us to produce and broadcast an appeal that is truly compelling. We are so grateful.”

Alistair Wayne, CEO of UNRWA’s UK partner Media Managers, said: “The opportunity to help people who find themselves in such desperate circumstances was really compelling.

“Working with UNRWA is a tremendous honour, and we sincerely hope that the campaign will help make a difference to reduce the suffering in Syria.”

The ongoing violence in Syria has affected hundreds of thousands of civilians, including Palestine refugees. In recent months, thousands of people have taken shelter in some UNRWA school buildings; many Palestine refugees and a number of UNRWA’s own staff members have fallen victim to the violence.

UNRWA has been running an emergency appeal for Syria since July of this year, in which it has called urgently for donations via social media, news outlets and its partner organisations in the US and Europe. The Agency hopes to raise the funds desperately needed to provide shelter, food and medicine for those directly affected by the armed conflict in Syria. So far nearly USD 350,000 has been raised.

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