In World Humanitarian Day event, Mohammed Assaf calls for support for humanitarian organizations working to protect refugees

23 August 2016
Photo Credit: Mohamemd Assaf Twitter, @MohammedAssaf89

UNRWA Goodwill Ambassador Mohammad Assaf participated as a special guest at the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) event in New York City on Friday. In his speech to the attendees – which was translated by renowned television actor Yasmine al-Massri, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee – he urged attendees and the broader international community to take action towards ending the violence in Syria and support humanitarian organizations working to support refugees and displaced peoples. On 19 August every year, World Humanitarian Day commemorates the humanitarian workers who risk their lives on the front line and aims to mobilize people to advocate for humanitarian action. 

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
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724