About UNRWA

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 services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.


UNRWA’s Partners

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, outside of a very limited subsidy from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used exclusively for administrative costs. UNRWA's work, in close collaboration with host governments and other partners could not be carried out effectively without the sustained generous contributions received from states and regional governments, the European Union, and other partners, which represent over 92 per cent of all contributions.

In 2013, 43.7 per cent of the Agency’s income of 1.18bn came from EU member states, who contributed US$ 517.6 million, including through the European Commission. The United States and the European Commission were the largest individual donors, contributing a cumulative 42.6 per cent of the Agency’s overall funding. The United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden were also among the top five donors.

Since the start of the CMHP in 2002, UNRWA has seen greater academic focus and confidence in children who have received support. Counselor training and community workshops help ensure that kids are provided constructive psycho-social support and an environment of greater acceptance where they receive the respect, dignity, and support they need to become positive, contributing members of Palestinian society.


UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program

UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) helps empower vulnerable refugees in Gaza, especially children, to better cope with the extreme challenges they face on a daily basis. Through the program, UNRWA provides school counseling, group sessions, and even at home counseling for those in need who are unable to travel.

Since the start of the CMHP in 2002, UNRWA has seen greater academic focus and confidence in the children who have received support. Counselor training and community workshops help ensure that counselors and the community are provided constructive psycho-social support, an environment of greater acceptance and helping the kids to receive the respect, dignity, and support they need to become positive, contributing members of Palestinian society.


About Ottawa Run for Palestine’s Funding

All participants register through a third party website – Running Room - which transmits all donations directly to UNRWA and CHEO. The Ottawa Run for Palestine Committee does not handle donations, but collects funding from sponsors and partners to defray costs associated with the event.


Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the PLO Central Committee, on UNRWA

UNRWA reflects the best of what the UN can do in a global context where the political will for promoting real solutions is regrettably all-too-often lacking, necessitating long-term support to affected populations. With principle, compassion and commitment, UNRWA has exemplified the tangible difference the UN makes in the lives of millions of people around the world, particularly the vulnerable suffering from man-made and natural crises, embodying the principles of international humanitarian law in action. It has done so through a unique combination of international stewardship and national capacity as well as a refined synergy between humanitarian assistance, protection and human development. In this way, with the support of the Host Countries and the international donor community, UNRWA has met immediate needs while also promoting development, advocating for rights and preserving human dignity.”

- JUNE 2, 2015: STATEMENT BY DR. HANAN ASHRAWI BEFORE UNRWA 65TH ANNIVERSARY HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE : SUSTAINING HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND PROTECTING RIGHTS OF PALESTINE REFUGEES