UNRWA Schools Stand Up Against Poverty:
Palestine Refugee Children call for world leaders to stand by their pledge to halve world poverty by 2015.
On 15th and 16th October 2006, in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, almost half a million children in schools run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will support a worldwide initiative to STAND UP and say ‘no’ to world poverty.
Launched by the United Nations' Millennium Campaign, STAND UP is a global advocacy effort to set an official Guinness World Record - the greatest number of people ever to STAND UP Against Poverty. On October 15-16 2006, the world will physically and symbolically “STAND UP” to pledge their desire to fight poverty and to remind 189 world leaders of a promise they made six years ago to end world poverty by 2015. The pledge will state that:
We are the first generation that can end poverty and I refuse to miss this opportunity. To our leaders I say, No Excuses. You have to keep your promise on the Millennium Development Goals. This is the only way to make our world a more just and secure place for every single individual.
UNRWA’s schoolchildren will stand together with other students and adults worldwide, to call for an end to their own poverty as well as the poverty of others who may not even have a school to stand up in. They will count down from 10 to start their minute’s stand and then shout “No” to poverty at the end.
The children will be given a fact sheet outlining key facts which world leaders face in the battle to end world poverty:
51% of Palestinians are food insecure; unable to cover their families' daily requirements without external assistance
Every day 24,000 people die from hunger
Every day 1.1 billion people have to drink polluted water
Every day more than 100 million children are denied the chance to go to school
Karen Abu Zayd, Commissioner General of UNRWA, and John Ging, Director of UNRWA Gaza Field Office, will be attending Beach Camp B Co-Ed School on Sunday to participate and address the children. Lauding the initiative, AbuZayd says: “The ‘Stand Up Against Poverty’ campaign could not come at a more opportune time. Conditions in Gaza are at their worst since 2000. The opportunity for the children of Gaza to capture the world’s attention tomorrow is crucial.”
Gina Benevento (International media): 0972 (0) 542402631 / 0972 (0)25890724
Adnan Abu Hasna (Arabic media): 0972 (0) 599428062 / 0972 (0)86777531