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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
6 March 2015


06 March 2015
Washington, DC

UNRWA is pleased to announce a partnership with TOMS to support Palestine refugee children in Jordan and Gaza. In addition to giving shoes to UNRWA students, TOMS supports local distribution expenses through its ‘Last-Mile Contribution’, which is used to cover the cost of freight, vehicle rentals, fuel, storage and labor required to get the shoes to the feet of the children. 
In Gaza, UNRWA provides education to approximately 240,000 students in 252 schools. The shoes were distributed to approximately 100,000 eligible children in March. Many families, living on less than US$ 1.53 per person per day, lack even the means to meet their basic food and living requirements. Receiving an essential item such as shoes for their children allows families to free some resources to purchase food. 
Having shoes to wear to school is an important component of the right to an adequate standard of living, as enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reiterated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The generous donation from TOMS comes at a critical time in Gaza – the middle of winter – for the abject poor refugee children who will receive the shoes through UNRWA, during the middle of the 2014/2014 school year. 
In Jordan, shoes were distributed to students enrolled in grades one and two in UNRWA schools, and out-of-school children receiving social safety net benefits or on the social safety net waitlist. UNRWA provides basic education to over 117,000 students at 175 UNRWA schools in Jordan. This education programme helps young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive as adults in an evolving, challenging landscape. 
It is envisioned that this first distribution is the beginning of long-term partnership between UNRWA and TOMS.

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.®
Realizing that One for One could serve other global needs, Blake launched TOMS Eyewear in 2011 to help restore sight to persons in need with every purchase of sunglasses and optical frames. In 2014, TOMS Roasting Co. launched with the mission to provide safe water to developing communities with the purchase of premium coffee.
TOMS is in business to help improve lives. We identify a global need and create products to help address them. This simple idea is what makes us more than a company – we’re a movement that’s continually evolving. 
Please visit to learn more.

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$ 100 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267 sends e-mail)

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724 sends e-mail)

Milina Shahin
Public Information Officer - Gaza Field Office
+972 599 609 485
+972 8 2887213 sends e-mail)

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