16 November 2009
Address by Filippo Grandi, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General
Assistant Secretary of State,
Distinguished guests, colleagues:
It is my pleasure to be with you today to inaugurate the new Zarqa Girls School.
Construction of this school has been made possible through the generous financial contribution of the government of the United States of America. On behalf of UNRWA and Palestine refugees, Assistant Secretary of State, I express my deep appreciation for your support.
As a 60-year old agency having assisted several generations of refugees, UNRWA attaches particular attention to the provision of education. Not only because education is essential to our development as individuals and societies, or because it is a fundamental human right, but also because for families and communities that have lived in exile for so long, education is the means – indeed one of the only means- to pave the way to a successful and productive future.
Through its mandate to deliver basic services to Palestine refugees, UNRWA has a duty to ensure that every child has access to quality education– regardless of gender and socio-economic background or whether residing in countries at peace or in conflict areas.
UNRWA works tirelessly to achieve this goal, here in Jordan, but also in Syria, Lebanon and in the occupied Palestinian territory. We could not succeed without the support of our donors, the sustained engagement of the host authorities and the active participation of our beneficiaries. I also take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to the Government of Jordan for its unfaltering assistance.
Zarqa is the oldest camp in Jordan and today’s inauguration is an example of what can be achieved when we join forces. Until a just and lasting solution to the refugees’ plight is achieved, it is my hope that we will continue to work side by side to contribute to the development of healthy, peaceful and educated Palestinian communities.