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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
1 September 2016



UNRWA SCHOOLS IN LEBANON OPEN THEIR DOORS TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
مدارس الأونروا في لبنان تفتح أبواوبها للاجئي فلسطين
1 September 2016

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is working to support the Palestine refugee community in Lebanon. Today, staff members of UNRWA, led by the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Matthias Schmale, and the Chief of the Field Education Programme, Ahmad Mouh, recognized the importance of access to education for Palestine refugee children and attended the openings of schools across the country.

The network of UNRWA schools in Lebanon represents the main educational system for Palestine refugee children in the country. UNRWA works to ensure that Palestine refugee children have the opportunity to learn through classroom education.
For the 2016/17 school year, UNRWA will provide elementary, preparatory and secondary educational services to nearly 38,000 Palestine refugee children (17,827 boys and 19,694 girls) enrolled in 67 schools. Of these, over 5,000 students are Palestine refugee children from Syria (2,467 boys and 2,624 girls) enrolled in UNRWA schools. 

Educational services are delivered in accordance with the Lebanese government curriculum permitting Palestine refugee students to participate in the official exams at the end of the preparatory cycle (Brevet) and secondary cycle (Baccalaureate).    
“Providing education to Palestine refugee children is an important message of hope to the Palestine refugee community, as they await a just solution,” said Mr. Schmale. “Today, nearly 38,000 Palestine refugee children in Lebanon have the opportunity to learn through classroom education. Support to UNRWA directly benefits these children and I urge the international community to continue to provide predictable and generous support.”  

“We are grateful to UN Member States and other partners who support the UNRWA education programme in Lebanon – including the long and valued support of the United Nations Children’s Fund and the European Union for Palestine refugee children,” added Mr. Schmale.

This year, UNRWA is employing 1,460 teachers to inspire the education of Palestine refugee children, including 125 teachers hired to support the response for Palestine refugee children from Syria. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 96.5 million. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

Najwa Sheikh Ahmad
Acting Public Information Officer - Gaza Field Office
Mobile:
+972 597 920 542
Office:
+972 8 2887 488
n.sheikh-ahmad@unrwa.org

http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-provides-back-school-supplies-263229-students-gaza


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