A new agreement with the Educate a Child (EAC) programme of the Education Above All Foundation, signed in Doha, Qatar, will help the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provide emergency education support to over 67,000 Palestine refugee children from Syria, including those who remain in Syria as well as those who have fled to Jordan and Lebanon.
The agreement will enable UNRWA to mitigate some of the effects of the ongoing armed conflict on the Agency’s schooling and students. The agreement focuses on three main activities over a two-year period: school feeding, psychosocial support and mobile schools.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “This is an important agreement. With a number of the UNRWA schools in Syria housing internally displaced Palestine refugees, many schools damaged, parents unwilling to send their children to school for security reasons and a large percentage of the population constantly on the move, the Agency’s delivery of education to the overwhelming majority of Palestine refugee children in Syria has been severely impaired.”
Mr. Grandi continued, “Thanks to this contribution from EAC, led by Her Highness Sheikha Moza, UNRWA can now offer more emergency education and help mitigate the long-term impact of the armed conflict on these children.”
Following the signing, EAC Director Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi said: “We are pleased to have some role in addressing this profoundly difficult situation, especially as it is in our neighbourhood.”
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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