New scholarships for UNRWA students funded by OPEC Fund (OFID)

07 June 2011

7 June 2011

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$ 1 million agreement for UNRWA’s education programme. The contribution will be used to fund scholarships for Palestine refugee students in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. The contribution will allow young Palestine refugees who excel academically and would otherwise be unable to afford tertiary education to attend university by covering the cost of tuition for the whole duration of their degree. The contribution will cover the period from 2011 to 2016.

The US $1 million from OFID will not only allow around 100 Palestine refugee students to create a better future for themselves but will also contribute to the economic and social development of the Palestine refugee community as a whole by creating a skilled workforce. Assisting young Palestine refugees is a crucial aim for UNRWA as whole.

The cost of tertiary education is prohibitively high for many Palestine refugee students. However through generous contributions such as this from OFID and through its own funding in the past, UNRWA has been able to assist 5,545 scholars in 50 different fields of study and specialisations.

OFID is a longstanding partner of UNRWA in the area of microfinance. In addition it has funded food assistance for Gaza, and is currently funding the construction of new schools in Nahr el-Bared Camp, Lebanon, which is under reconstruction.

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For further information please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Arabic Spokesperson
+972 542 168 295

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

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