UNRWA HOLDS AN EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES STRATEGY CONSULTATION WORKSHOP IN AMMAN
Technical education experts from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) came together last week in Amman to discuss the development of the Agency’s Education in Emergencies strategy. The workshop was facilitated by Frosse Dabit, UNRWA Education Programme Specialist, along with the Director of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), Dean Brooks.
Over the course of the two-day workshop, education staff from the Agency's five fields of operations – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza – described the challenges they face in providing quality education during times of emergency. There were discussions about what already exists within the Agency to address the challenges and what the content of the Strategy should be.
The UNRWA Education in Emergencies Strategy seeks to establish a more holistic and integrated approach to providing quality education in times of emergency. It will build on the existing strengths of the Agency’s education system and the achievements of the 2011-2015 Education Reform Strategy. The Strategy also aligns with internationally recognized quality education standards as outlined by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).
Since 2013, the Agency’s work in Education in Emergencies has been supported by Educate a Child, a programme within the Education Above All Foundation. Their generous support of US$ 5 million has enabled UNRWA to provide safe and quality education for Palestine refugee children in these challenging times and share and institutionalize the lessons learned in the UNRWA Education in Emergencies Strategy.
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$ 81 million. 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 .
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