The OPEC Fund for International Development and UNRWA distribute scholarships to Palestinian students

19 December 2011

15 December 2011

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has distributed scholarships to Palestinian students thanks to a donation of $225,000 from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

The scholarships were distributed by Director of UNRWA Affairs Salvatore Lombardo in the presence of Mr. Maher Mshayel, on behalf of the Ambassador of Palestine to Lebanon, Dr. Abdallah Abdallah.

The donation covers the tuition fees of 10 Palestinian students over five years. OFID is a longstanding partner of UNRWA in the area of education in Lebanon. In addition to the scholarships, OFID has also funded the construction of two new schools in Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon.

This year, a total of 105 scholarships were granted to Palestinian students, thanks to funds received from the European Union, Unite Youth Lebanon, and OFID. Thanks to these donations, the program will allow qualified Palestine refugee students the opportunity to pursue higher academic education at universities in Lebanon, thereby increasing their chances of being employed.

Students were selected based on their ranking in the list, provided they scored over 60 per cent in the Baccalaureate II exams. Although UNRWA does not decide on the majors chosen by the students, it endeavors to advise students on their education, to prepare them not only for their university education but also for the job market.

For the school year 2011-2012, UNRWA received 671 applications for scholarships from Palestinian students throughout Lebanon. UNRWA continues to raise additional funds for the scholarship programme to give opportunities for more Palestinian students pursue their education.

- Ends -

For more information please contact UNRWA Public Information Office
tel/fax: 01-840468

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: