19 July 2011
UNRWA and the Bahrain Royal Charity Organization (RCO) have signed an agreement for the construction of eight new classrooms at the Fakhari Elementary School in Gaza. The classrooms will be funded by the Bahrain Parliament working through the RCO. UNRWA and the RCO also relaunched a project to construct a complete new school in Gaza, following a pledge originally made in the aftermath of Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2008-2009.
UNRWA and RCO first signed an agreement for a construction of new school in Jabalia Camp in Gaza in April 2009. However, due to the blockade work had been halted. Following recent approval, construction of the school can now recommence, but at a different site in the Tel al Hawwa area of Gaza City. Tel el Hawwa is in desperate need of a school to meet the needs of local children and this RCO-funded school will be the first UNRWA school in the area.
At a ceremony attended by H.E. Dr Majed Al Nuaimi, Bahrain Minister of Education, and HE Mr Nasser Rashed El Ka’bi, Ambassador of Bahrain to Jordan, Mr Peter Ford, Representative of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, and Dr Mustafa Al Sayed, Secretary-General of the Royal Charity Organization, signed the two new agreements.
Peter Ford said: “UNRWA is delighted that it can now at last move forward on building a new school in Gaza using the generous Bahraini contribution from 2009. It will ease overcrowding and 2,000 Gaza children will benefit from having new facilities. We are likewise delighted to be receiving through our partners the Royal Charity Organization a donation from the Bahrain Parliament, which will enable us to add eight much-needed new classrooms to an existing school. UNRWA and the refugees are very grateful to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifah and the RCO for their continued support.”
Dr Al Sayed said that the RCO was pleased to note the progress being registered on two other UNRWA projects that are being funded by the RCO in Gaza and which are nearing completion – a new health centre at Khan Younis camp and a library at Al Fakhoura School in Jabalia Camp.
UNRWA currently educates some 213,000 refugee students across 237 schools in the Gaza Strip. About 90 per cent of the schools are run on a double-shift basis and the average class size in Gaza is 38 pupils.
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UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 4.8 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict.
For more information please contact:
Assistant External Relations Officer
UNRWA (HQ) Amman
Mobile: +962 77 5433670
Telephone: +962 6 5808652