Dubai Cares-funded UNRWA school stands as beacon of hope for Zarqa refugees

20 December 2010

Zarqa, Jordan

UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General, Ms Margot Ellis, and CEO of Dubai Cares, Mr Tarek AlGurg, presided over the inauguration of the Zarqa Preparatory Boys School No. 2 today. The Zarqa School was reconstructed thanks to the generosity of Dubai Cares, a humanitarian establishment launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

In the presence of a representative of the Jordanian government, Eng. Mahmoud Akrabawi, officials from the Jordanian government and representatives of the community and school pupils, Ms Ellis praised Dubai Cares for its generosity: “With this generous contribution, Dubai Cares reaffirms its commitment to support the human development of Palestine refugees and helps UNRWA ensure a better future and higher employability prospects for them.”

Ms Ellis lauded the UAE government and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for having been strong and consistent supporters of UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees for many years. She expressed the wish that this cooperation continues and expanded further: “Dubai Cares, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has responded to one of UNRWA’s priority needs and we hope that our future collaboration will continue to bring hope and relief to refugee pupils.”

The US$1.5 million project provides a new school with all amenities, comprising a permanent building for preparatory and elementary sections, an assembly hall, a library, science and computer laboratories, administration offices, arts and crafts rooms, and a canteen. It will make the school the largest primary and secondary education facility in Zarqa camp with more than 710 students benefiting from its modern facilities.

Background Information

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

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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