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Source: OPEC Fund for International Development
5 November 1999



Vienna, Austria, November 5, 1999

The OPEC Fund for International Development has approved a grant of US$100,000 in support of the Scholarship Fund for Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon. Established to bring university education within the reach of women who have the intellectual capacity but lack financial means, the Scholarship Fund seeks to create a group of well-educated women, equipped with the necessary leadership skills to foster the development of the Palestinian refugee community. It is being supported by the Canadian government and the State of Qatar, among others, as part of measures to facilitate the Middle East Peace Process.

Although Palestinians place a high value on female education, excessive tuition fees and cutbacks in scholarships make post-secondary education out of the question for most refugees, particularly women. The mandate of the Scholarship Fund is to change this by sponsoring study places at local universities for Palestinian women resident in Lebanon. By fostering the acquisition of professional and managerial skills in key sectors such as business, education, health and information science, the Fund aims to make it possible for women to participate, as equals, in community decision making and in shaping the development of their society.

The Scholarship Fund will grant 90 four-year scholarships annually, to qualified but disadvantaged Palestinian women, for a period of three years commencing in September 2000. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their academic records, achievements, needs and fields of study.

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