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WASHINGTON, DC | unrwausa.org | October 14, 2014 - UNRWA USA proudly announces the addition of esteemed human rights champion and leader for peace, Mrs. Elizabeth Kucinich, to its board of directors. 

Mrs. Kucinich joins UNRWA USA’s work in supporting the mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) whose non-political mandate serves more than 5 million refugees from Palestine, in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan through primary and vocational education, healthcare, food aid, social services, microfinance loans, and emergency protection. 

UNRWA USA’s Chairman, Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., said “On behalf of the UNRWA USA board and staff, we are honored to welcome Mrs. Kucinich. She and her husband [Dennis] have always been on the forefront of advocating for peace and for those in need. We look forward to working closely with her.” 

Speaking on her new position, Mrs. Kucinich says, “beyond divisive political and ideological rhetoric are the lives of real people who are continually under threat from circumstances beyond their control. The need is for empathy and humanity, not the taking of sides. I look forward to enhancing the message of human unity in America on behalf of Palestinian refugees who face institutionalized violence, military attacks, oppression, and lack the most basic of human dignities. UNRWA works diligently to address very real humanitarian needs under the most challenging of circumstances”. 

Mrs. Kucinich has extensive international experience, and has lived and worked in both India and East Africa on human development issues. She holds a degree in Religious Studies and Theology, and a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis. Mrs. Kucinich has produced two documentaries, GMO OMG and Hot Water, is a board director of J/P HRO - Sean Penn's Haitian Relief Organization, the Rodale Institute - America’s oldest organic research institute in America, and is the Policy Director at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, DC. 

“Elizabeth joins the board at a critical time for UNRWA, and we are thrilled to have her on our team,” says UNRWA USA Executive Director, Abby Smardon, “together we will reach a wider audience across the United States to advocate for the refugees of Palestine who have been through so much.” 

Mrs. Kucinich and her husband, former congressman Dennis Kucinich, will be joining UNRWA USA at two 5K walks in California later this month to raise funds for UNRWA's Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) which supports thousands of Palestine refugee children in Gaza affected by PTSD and other psychological trauma: San Francisco (Oct. 18) & Orange County (Oct. 25). Walk information: unrwausa.org/gaza5k. 

Mr. & Mrs. Kucinich have also created a fundraising page to raise additional funds for the Gaza 5K. Visit firstgiving.com/fundraiser/elizabeth-kucinich/gaza5k-la to support their efforts through a tax-deductible donation today! 

About UNRWA

Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA was established by the United Nations General Assembly to provide humanitarian assistance for Palestine refugees. UNRWA has a strict non-political mandate and serves more than 5 million Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan through primary and vocational education, healthcare, food aid, social services, microfinance loans, and emergency protection. 

UNRWA abides by all UN neutrality laws and is audited by the US government every six months to ensure funds are spent appropriately. UNRWA is funded primarily through state governments who account for over 95% of the Agency’s budget, donors include the United States, and the European Union. 

About UNRWA USA

UNRWA USA is a Washington, DC based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works through community outreach and partnerships with private donors to raise critical funds for UNRWA programs for Palestine refugees. UNRWA USA’s national Gaza 5K walk/runs raise funds and awareness for UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program, supporting thousands of Palestine refugee children in Gaza affected by PTSD and other psychological trauma due to the ongoing blockade and continued violence. For more information, please visit unrwausa.org.