UNRWA USA to hold fourth Annual Gaza 5K Walk/Run in Washington, DC

15 April 2015

Washington, D.C.

American Friends of UNRWA (UNRWA USA) invites its supporters to its fourth annual Gaza 5K walk/run on 16 May 2015 at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. The Gaza 5K is a fun, family-friendly charity event which brings members of the American community together to show solidarity with the children of Gaza and to raise critical funds for the vital work UNRWA undertakes in Gaza. The event is open to all and attracts people of all ages--runners and walkers alike. 

Proceeds from the Gaza 5K benefit the UNRWA Community Mental Health Program (CMHP). The CMHP empowers vulnerable refugees in Gaza, particularly children suffering from PTSD and other psychological trauma, to better cope with the extreme challenges they face on a daily basis. Through the program, UNRWA provides school, group, and even at home counselling.

Through the CMHP program, 365 trained UNRWA counsellors will attend to refugees’ individual, family, and communal mental health needs in schools and clinics; 18,700 refugee children will receive individual counselling and over 21,000 will receive specialized group counselling.

In a recent speech, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl noted, “I visited Gaza three times during the recent conflict and the impact of the fighting on individual human lives, particularly the young, is palpable and profound. Hundreds of thousands of children are deep in trauma. Several hundred UNRWA counsellors are working to restore a sense of normality. UNRWA will do all it can to restore human dignity to a community that has suffered enough.”

Individuals can register or donate online via: https://unrwausa.fundly.com/2015-gaza5k-dc. Follow #Gaza5K on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.

Those unable to attend the race in person can still show support by creating a virtual walker page or by donating online to a friend’s fundraising page. 

UNRWA USA thanks the DC Gaza 5K’s national and local sponsors for their generous contribution: the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Qatar Foundation International, Islamic Relief USA, the Institute for Palestine Studies, the Embassy of Qatar, the Embassy of Turkey, Azzad Asset Management, CAIR, Jenin Pastry, and American Muslims for Palestine.

The DC Gaza 5K is the second of four 5Ks hosted by UNRWA USA around the country this year. In March 2015, UNRWA USA kicked off the events in New York, where supporters raised over US$ 116,000, which will benefit over 3,860 children in Gaza. In October 2015, UNRWA USA will host 5Ks in San Francisco, and LA/Orange County, CA. To learn more about upcoming events and the work of UNRWA USA, visit www.unrwausa.org.

4 Annual Gaza 5K Walk/Run in Washington Flyer. UNRWA USA


UNRWA USA is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization that provides support for the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA USA aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA programmes. US taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions for donations made through UNRWA USA.

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.

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