UNRWA apologizes for using Syria photo in Gaza campaign

The image was used by UNRWA in its 2015 Syria fundraising campaign and then recycled for its 2017 Gaza campaign.

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June 5, 2017 03:49
1 minute read.
UNRWA Twitter screenshot

UNRWA Twitter screenshot. (photo credit: TWITTER)

 
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UNRWA has apologized for twice using a photo of a Palestinian child living in Syria, this time in its fund-raising campaign for Gaza.

The double use of the photograph was brought to light by the Geneva- based group UN Watch, whose executive director Hillel Neuer posted both pictures on Twitter with the caption: “Left: UNRWA photo, Jan.27, 2015, of girl in Syria. Right: Same UNRWA photo, May 29, 2017, but now she’s ‘Aya from Gaza’ oppressed by Israel.”

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Next to the photo that it posted on social media last month, UNRWA wrote: “Imagine being cut off from the world – for your whole life. That’s reality for children like Aya. The blockade of Gaza began when she was a girl, the occupation in the West Bank before her parents were born. Now she is 11 and the blockade goes on.

“Aya’s childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls she cannot escape, and the fear that the only home she knows, however tiny, could be gone when she returns from school.

This Ramadan, please help support children like Aya, who have known nothing but conflict and hardship.”

After UN Watch publicized the matter, UNRWA said that the double posting of the photo was a mistake.

“As soon as issues relating to a photograph in our Ramadan campaign were brought to our attention, we looked into the matter. We had mistakenly posted an image from our archive of a child in Syria and had said that the child was in Gaza.

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“The image has been replaced.Palestine refugee children we serve, whether in Syria or Gaza, are in urgent need of assistance and we hope people will continue to give generously to this important Ramadan campaign,” UNRWA said.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency serves more than 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in the Middle East, including the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

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