Americans come together to provide food assistance to 4,462 Palestine refugee families in Gaza

July 28, 2016
Washington, DC

With a million Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip facing food insecurity this year, Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life came together during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to raise over half a million dollars to provide food assistance for 4,462 Palestine refugee families through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

“We were overwhelmed by the unprecedented amount of support we received for our most recent Ramadan campaign. It's a clear signal that Americans deeply care about Palestine and are committed to investing in the future of Palestinian refugees,” said Abby Smardon, Executive Director of UNRWA USA.

The charity campaign went above and beyond any previous UNRWA USA fundraising efforts, raising more than $537,000 from generous individual donations, peer-to-peer fundraising, and charitable events in three cities. 100% of the funds went directly to Gaza to feed Palestine refugee families in need. Each donation of $120 provides an UNRWA food assistance package with enough flour, sugar, olive oil, meat, lentils, chickpeas, and other essential food items to last one family for a month.

Americans also had the opportunity to hear about the plight of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip from UNRWA USA staff member Lena Abdelhamid. A Palestinian-American from Gaza, Abdelhamid shared her experience with supporters, including correspondence with her family living under blockade in the besieged coastal enclave.

"Documenting my family's experience in such a tangible way, through telling our story, was something surprisingly emotional and at times very difficult. However, it was incredibly heartwarming to see the elation on my family's faces when they learned that Americans cared so deeply about their plight and their struggle," said Abdelhamid.

Supporters shared their own experiences with separation across borders using the #RamadanAcrossBorders hashtag, which evolved into people showing what Ramadan looked like wherever they were in the world.

For more information about UNRWA USA’s Ramadan Across Borders fundraising campaign:


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Background Information

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit organization that provides support for the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA USA aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA’s programs. US taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions for donations made through UNRWA USA.

For more information, please contact:

Laila Mokhiber
Director of Communications, UNRWA USA
(202) 223-3767