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Thursday, June 27, 2013
EU Funded UNRWA summer program gives priority to Area C

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Area C is the area under full Israeli control.]

Summer Fun Days for refugee children bring Europe to the West Bank
27 June 2013 Jerusalem
http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=1804

For the third year in a row, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA) will be able to invite nearly 6,000 Palestine refugee children in
the West Bank to participate in the EU-UNRWA Summer Fun Days, thanks to
generous funding from the European Union.

From 23 June to 4 July, 55 UNRWA schools in the West Bank will open their
gates for two weeks of learning and fun, providing children with a chance to
enjoy their summer break and have a respite from the difficulties of their
daily lives.

The participants, both boys and girls, will have the opportunity to take
part in several recreational, sport and art activities featuring
European-inspired poetry, theatre and musical performances.

“The European Union is a strong believer in the work of UNRWA, and has
proven its commitment to Palestine refugee youth time and again,” Director
of UNRWA Operations in West Bank Felipe Sanchez said “This year, the Summer
Fun Days will give priority to students who live in Area C or near the
Barrier, giving them a small break from the difficult circumstances they
live in. We are also focusing accommodating students with disabilities and
special needs.“

"We are delighted to support the EU-UNRWA Summer Fun Games for the third
year. I would like to thank UNRWA for giving the chance to so many children
across the West Bank to learn about the European history and culture through
games. I want to pay tribute to UNRWA teachers whose commitment and personal
engagement has made the 'fun games' an annual tradition", said EU
Representative Mr. John Gatt-Rutter.

The Summer Fun Days are an important part of UNRWA’s efforts to support
refugee children and help them reach their full potential. The Agency
consistently works to improve its educational standards and psychosocial
system throughout its schools in the West Bank, Education and related
opportunities are the first step to creating a better future for children
and young people., .

Support from the EU has been vital to the Agency. The EU has been UNRWA’s
largest donor since 1971, with the bulk of its financial support devoted to
the General Fund, enabling UNRWA to provide essential education, health and
social relief services to Palestine refugees.

To find out more about the EU’s assistance to Palestine refugees, visit the
Europa website
http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/

– Ends –

Background information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949
and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some
five million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine
refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve
their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their
plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social
services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for
services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need,
and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF),
supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary
contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently
the deficit stands at US$ 65 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

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