Japan, UNRWA Celebrate 70 Years of Serving Palestine Refugees


East Jerusalem,

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Government of Japan proudly announce the launch of a campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of their longstanding partnership. This year-long campaign aims to highlight the shared history and achievements in support of Palestine Refugees.

Since 1953, Japan has been a steadfast supporter of the Agency’s mission to provide assistance, protection, and advocacy for the rights and dignity of Palestine Refugees. Over the past seven decades, Japan has played a critical role in funding UNRWA education, health, and social services programmes, contributing to the well-being of millions of refugees across the region.

Adopting the theme of “Tsumugu,” a Japanese term symbolizing the connection, spinning, and weaving of threads, the campaign will present an array of events illustrating the rich tapestry created by the Japan-UNRWA partnership. Emphasizing the vital need for ongoing support for Palestine refugees, the program will also underscore the significance of international collaboration in fostering peace, stability, and development across the region.

“The partnership between Japan and UNRWA is built on a shared commitment to human dignity, peace, and stability in the region,” said Mr. Yoichi Nakashima, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine. “As we celebrate 70 years of solidarity, we reaffirm our dedication to supporting UNRWA’s critical work for Palestine refugees and their path towards a brighter future.”

The campaign was officially inaugurated by the “Kites of Hope” event in early March 2023, where over 500 students from Gaza filled the skies above the Khan Younis neighborhood with a vibrant display of Japanese-inspired kites. This area has significantly benefited from Japan’s investments in educational infrastructure.

Karim Amer, UNRWA Director of Partnerships, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Japan, stating, “Japan’s unwavering support has been invaluable to the Agency’s mission over the past 70 years. This campaign serves as a testament to our collective efforts and underscores the importance of continued cooperation to ensure the well-being and rights of Palestine Refugees.”

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