UNRWA in the West Bank Organizes a Summer Camp Activity for Almost 100 Students from Gaza

30 August 2017
UNRWA school students from Gaza and the West Bank on their first afternoon in Jerusalem with the Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Scott Anderson. 120 UNRWA school students participated in the summer camp. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Dayana Khatib

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) organized a summer camp for almost a hundred school students from Gaza, from grades 6-9, bringing them to the West Bank for one week. Over 95 per cent of the students had left Gaza for the first time in their lives.

This summer camp is the first of its kind, with UNRWA bringing together students from Gaza and the West Bank field, allowing the students from Gaza to interact with their peers in Jerusalem, Ramallah and across the West Bank It was designed to enrich the students’ scholastic experience by providing them with the chance to get to know the West Bank and interact with other students of the same age. It also sought to contribute to their psychological welfare.

The Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Scott Anderson, who met with the students during their visits to both Jerusalem and Ramallah, stressed the importance of this visit: “While the uniqueness of this visit is a concerning reminder of the access and movement restrictions facing Palestine refugees across the occupied Palestinian territory every day, it was heartwarming meeting the students and seeing their smiles as they got to play and meet new friends in the West Bank”.

Together with their West Bank peers, the visitors participated in several activities including visiting famed sites and camps in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, from Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem to Ramallah, Hebron and Jericho. They also visited Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity and attended a concert held in Aida refugee camp. On the last day of their trip, the students got the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Sebastiya, in the northern region of the West Bank.

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:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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