Beirut, 16 February 2010
On 15 February, 36 Palestine refugee students graduated from UNRWA’s North Vocational Training Centre (NTC), in the presence of the First Secretary for Economic Cooperation from the German Embassy in Beirut, UNRWA officials, members of the community and students’ parents. The ceremony marked the completion of a one-year course in Welding and Pipe Fabrication, funded by the government of the Republic of Germany, and a short-term course in Windmill and Solar Energy funded by the European Union. Around 80 per cent of the graduates have already found employment, which is an indication that this project contributes to livelihoods for Palestine refugees and to the community’s recovery from the 2007 Nahr el-Bared camp (NBC) conflict.
The NTC was established in 2008, thanks to a generous donation from the German government to run trade and semi-professional courses that will enable young Palestine refugees in north Lebanon to gain employment in the reconstruction and recovery of NBC, in which many of them lost their homes. At present, 365 young Palestinians (232 male, 133 female) are enrolled in the NTC.
After the ceremony, the German representative visited the NBC adjacent areas to hand over solar panel water heaters to the refugee community in Plot 23, one of the three temporary shelter sites where the panels have been installed with funding from the German government. Thanks to this donation, 529 families will be supplied with hot water. This is the second project funded by the German government to provide solar panels, after the successful implementation of a pilot project in 2009, which benefited 191 families in one temporary shelter site and a number of collective centres.
As one of UNRWA’s major donors, in the aftermath of the NBC conflict, Germany responded with generosity to the humanitarian emergency, by contributing Euro 2.2 million to the Agency's Flash and Emergency Appeals (2008), and Euro 850,000 to relief and early recovery in Nahr el-Bared (2009), in addition to the Euro 2 million for the NTC pledged in 2008.
For more information please contact:
Hoda Samra, UNRWA Lebanon Public Information Office: Tel/Fax: +961-1 840 468
or Irina Prentice, Communication Officer for North Lebanon: firstname.lastname@example.org