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UNRWA Wadi Seer Training Centre Students run for the Dignity of Palestine refugees
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Jordan held its annual race at Wadi Seer Vocational Training Centre today. Themed #DignityIsPriceless, the event was organized to raise awareness for Palestine refugees in this period of unprecedented financial shortfall for the Agency.
Some 300 students, faculty members and UNRWA staff ran to protect the rights and dignity of millions of Palestine refugees.
Participants ranging in age from 16 to 50-years-old were divided into four teams, with the shortest race distance set at one kilometer, for runners aged 50 and over. The longest track measured seven kilometers, with a starting point near the village of Abu al-Sous to the finish line at Wadi Seer Training Centre. Runners in this race ranged in age from 16 to 26-years-old.
Commenting on the event, Roger Davies, Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, noted that this annual entertainment event carries a different symbolic dimension this year. "The participants ran for the cause #DignityIsPriceless. This is the ongoing global campaign UNRWA launched at the beginning of the year, it aims to advocate for the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees and raise necessary funds to ensure the provision of humanitarian services to them. Today, students have demonstrated the unity between UNRWA family, students and staff. Their sense of responsibility towards defending and advocating for the rights of this category of refugees and their solidarity with UNRWA, in light of this unprecedented financial crisis in the Agency’s history is inspirational."
In addition to the race, the Training Centre used the event as an opportunity to celebrate not only faculty members making healthy lifestyle choices but also to support those who are phasing out unhealthy habits. This included a ceremony for faculty members who had stopped smoking during this academic year.
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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