18 September 2013
The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF), in cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), celebrated the beginning of the new school year at the Khalifa Bin Zayed School in the Gaza Strip, and marked the second anniversary of the Foundation’s support to the school.
Since 2011, as part of the Agency’s school adoption scheme, KBZF has taken on a major part of the running costs of maintaining the school, and has provided school uniforms and stationery to the pupils. The school facility, in Beit Lahia, hosts two elementary schools: one for boys and one co-ed. It serves 2,814 pupils.
HE Mohamed Haji Al Khoori, KBZF Director-General, said: “Education is a child’s right, and not just a privilege. The Palestinian children are well deserving of a good standard of education and the chance to have a future filled with hope and brimming with possibilities. We as a Foundation are involved in various education-based initiatives all around the world, and are proud of our role to help mould these young minds and give them all the assistance they need to become upstanding citizens and contributors to society.”
Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, said: “I would like to thank the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for their adoption of the Khalifa Bin Zayed School. This generous support allows us to ensure that existing UNRWA schools are serving pupils well, giving these refugee children the best possible chance of securing a bright future. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation and its Patron, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, for this partnership with UNRWA.”
The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation is one of the most consistent UNRWA donors in the Gulf. In addition to the adoption of a school under the Agency’s ‘Adopt-a-School Initiative’, the Foundation also provides regular food support for the neediest refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.
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UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 54.3 million.
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