Tuesday, 03 July 2018 13:20

UNHCR rehabilitates community centre in Baghdad, with support from the People’s Republic of China

Baghdad, Iraq - 03 July 2018: The Haifa Club community centre in Baghdad officially reopened today, following extensive renovation works. The centre has stood at the heart of the local community for almost 50 years, bringing together the Iraqis and Palestinian refugees who share the neighbourhood.

Through its activities, the Haifa Club helps to foster social cohesion between the local populace and the Palestinian refugees sheltering here.

Over 3,000 people from the local community use this centre. Local football and basketball teams train using the Club’s facilities. Families bring their children to the nursery, and celebrate milestone events in their lives in the community hall. When the Club fell into disrepair it affected the whole community.

UNHCR and its partner, Islamic Relief Worldwide, rehabilitated the centre with the support of the People’s Republic of China. Since the start of 2017 China generously donated US$2 million to support UNHCR’s efforts to assist Palestinian refugees in Iraq. The funds supported a range of activities for Palestinian refugees, from education grants to vital health care. The Haifa Club renovations are at the heart of this project.

“China would like to continue to work together with the United Nations and the international community to play a constructive role in improving the Palestinian refugees’ humanitarian situation,” said Mr. Chen Weiqing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Iraq.

The Palestinian Ambassador, Ahmed Aqel, responded: “We thank the Chinese Government and people for funding to help Palestinians in Iraq. We also thank UNHCR for their continued efforts to improve the lives of Palestinians in Iraq. The Palestinian Embassy is pleased to continue their cooperation with UNHCR in Iraq.”

“As forced displacement around the world grows year by year, helping refugees rebuild their lives must be a shared responsibility, and UNHCR is grateful to the People’s Republic of China for this generous donation,” said UNHCR Representative in Iraq, Mr. Bruno Geddo. “Equally important, we must empower the communities who welcome refugees through funding for projects that bring refugees and their hosts together, like the renovation of this centre. We hope the Haifa club where Iraqis and Palestinians socialize will remain at the heart of the local community for many years to come.”

For more information contact:

Kate Pond
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+964 780 920 7286 (Baghdad)

Mustafa Aldalawi
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+964 7801958468 (Baghdad)

Rasheed H Rasheed
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+964 7507130014 (Dohuk)

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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