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Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
21 May 2013

In Lebanon, Palestine refugee children from Syria
in UNRWA schools receive school bags, clothing from UNICEF

21 May 2013

Around 3,400 Palestine refugee children from Syria now continuing their education in UNRWA schools in Lebanon received school uniforms, school bags and clothing vouchers from UNICEF.

“Education is a priority for both UNRWA and the Palestine refugee community and this will remain so, despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis of Palestine refugees from Syria”, said Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Mr. Roger Davies. Mr. Davies thanked UNICEF for its continuous and generous support to UNRWA and in light of the new crisis in Syria in particular.

“Through the provision of school supplies and clothing vouchers, UNICEF is supporting Palestinian refugee families from Syria - now in Lebanon - to ensure their children have access to schools,” said UNICEF Lebanon’s Deputy Representative Mr. Luciano Calestini. “UNICEF believes in the right of all children to education. This is especially important in an on-going, severe emergency where refugee children need to regain a sense of normalcy. We are fully committed and we support UNRWA’s efforts to ensure Palestinian children from Syria go back to school,” he added.

UNICEF has also assisted Palestine refugee children from Syria with in-kind donations of vaccines, medicines, medical tools, and hygiene and back-to-school kits. UNICEF is one of UNRWA’s largest partners in education and health for children in Lebanon. It has contributed a total of US$ 1,033,280 to UNRWA’s regular programme since 2011, most of it going to learning support activities.

Today’s distribution took place at UNRWA’s Toulkarem School in Bourj al-Barajneh Palestine refugee camp, in the presence of students, parents and teaching staff. This in-kind contribution amounted to a total of US$ 236,000.

- 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 5 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$ 72 million.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

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