Visit Palestine and UNRWA Sign Contribution Agreement in Support of Education for Palestine Refugees

On Thursday, 15 September, Visit Palestine and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed a contribution agreement that will see 5 per cent of sales profits from Visit Palestine’s gift shop in Bethlehem and 10 per cent of sales profits from Visit Palestine’s online gift shop donated to UNRWA in support of the Agency’s education programme.

“This newly established partnership with Visit Palestine is a testament to our shared commitment to bettering the lives of Palestine refugees,” said Misbah Sheikh, the Chief of the Partnerships Division at UNRWA. “We are deeply grateful for their support to our education programme and to the roughly half a million students who have started the new school year.”

“Supporting Palestinian refugees is our duty and we are proud of this new partnership with UNRWA and we hope our contributions will make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters,” said Sami Khoury, Founder and General Manager of Visit Palestine.  “The future lies with the next generation and this is why we opted to directly support UNRWA education programmes.”

Visit Palestine is a tourism service provider based in Bethlehem that works to promote and support the local tourism industry in Palestine and offers travel information, tourism services and a gift shop offering products made in Palestine. This is the first agreement between Visit Palestine and UNRWA.

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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.


unrwabaner2The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States. UNRWA also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used mostly for international staffing costs.

The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.


Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950.

In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2017.

> Read the UN Resolution


UNRWA is unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees. It has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees, defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.

UNRWA services are available to all those living in its areas of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.

> More on Palestine refugees

The above information and picture has been taken from the UNRWA’s official website (

UNRWA human development and humanitarian services encompass primary and vocational education, primary health care, relief and social services, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict. Learn more about UNRWA’s services (the links will take you to UNRWA’s official website):

UNRWA is committed to fostering the human development of Palestine refugees by helping them to:

  • Acquire knowledge and skills
  • Lead long and healthy lives
  • Achieve decent standards of living
  • Enjoy human rights to the fullest possible extent.

Read more on the four human development goals identified as the focus of UNRWA operations.

The above information and picture has been taken from the UNRWA’s official website (

This month, UNRWA will ensure that more than half a million Palestine refugee children can go back to school in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. For these children, going to school means they have a safe space to learn, play, and pursue their dreams for the future despite the difficult and challenging circumstances in which they live.

We can only do this with your support. UNRWA’s 677 schools are entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

Go to the official page of UNRWA to make a donation: here.


The above information and picture has been taken from the UNRWA’s official website (