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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
20 February 2007

Press Release No. 03/2007

20 February 2007


UNRWA opens Japanese Funded Computer Lab and Multi-Purpose Room at
Jerusalem/Yazour School in Yarmouk, Syria

The Ambassador of Japan, Mr.Masaki Kunieda inaugurated a computer laboratory and a multi-purpose room at UNRWA’s Jerusalem/Yazour school in the Yarmouk refugee camp on Tuesday 20 February. These facilities will provide hundreds of Palestinian refugee students and the community at large with access to computer technology and learning material. The laboratory and multi-purpose room, part of an overall US$500,000 project, are funded and equipped by the Government of Japan. The project includes the construction and equipment of seven computer laboratories, six multi-purpose rooms and a learning resource centre at UNRWA schools throughout Syria.

"UNRWA is working hard to prepare the Palestine refugee children for the opportunities of the future,” said Filippo Grandi, UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General. “Our pupils and their teachers are now able to explore the world of computer technology for themselves instead of just reading about it in textbooks. We are grateful for the understanding and support we have received from the Government of Japan”, Mr. Grandi said He also thanked Syria for the many ways in which its government facilitates UNRWA’s work.

Ambassador Kunieda commented that through the services offered by UNRWA, the computer lab and multi-purpose room reflect the constant and firm support of the Japanese Government for the Palestine refugees. "This intervention will have a very positive impact upon not only the refugee children, but on the entire community", Ambassador Kunieda stated.

The Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees (GAPAR), Mr. ‘Ali Mustafa, thanked the Japanese Government and UNRWA. “This testifies to the international community’s commitment to providing support and assistance to Palestine refugees”, Mr. Mustafa said. He also thanked the Syrian Government for its generous support to Palestine refugees living in Syria.

The Japanese Government has consistently been one of UNRWA’s major donors. In Syria, Japan has contributed over two million US Dollars in projects funding for UNRWA’s education, health and relief and social services programmes over the past 19 years. UNRWA has also benefited from the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) assistance programme through 15 experts in the fields of music, sports, vocational training and information technology.

Mr Suleiman al-Khattib, Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Kazuhide Nagazawa, JICA Resident Representative, Government officials, Japanese Embassy representatives, Mr. Panos Mountziz, Director of UNRWA Operations in Syria, Palestine refugees and UNRWA staff also attended the inauguration.

Mr. Grandi and Mr. Moumtzis along with Ambassador Kunieda, Deputy Minister of Education Mr. al-Khattib and other Japanese and Syrian government representatives as well as UNRWA staff, students and teachers visited UNRWA’s Sarafand/al-Karmel school to take part in an ICT conference between UNRWA students and Japanese students. Later they attended a softball training session for Palestinian refugee girl students monitored by JICA volunteers.

UNRWA is a humanitarian and human development Agency providing education, health care, social services, microcredit and emergency relief to over 4 million registered refugees living in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over 440,000 refugees.

For information only - Not an official record
For further information please contact:
Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 093-416591

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