UNRWA and the EU Collaborate on Education in Emergency

18 July 2013
UNRWA and the EU Collaborate on Education in Emergency

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been working to provide education and psychosocial support to the many Palestine refugee children displaced from Syria by the country’s long-running conflict. Support from the European Union (EU), which has contributed over EUR 2.4 million through its Instrument for Stability (IFS) fund, has helped the Agency design and implement a comprehensive response to the educational and psychosocial needs of these children, who are among the most vulnerable to the effects of the conflict.

Planning for and work on behalf of displaced students has taken place across the Agency’s fields of operation. In Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, UNRWA has identified and established child-friendly spaces for forcibly displaced refugees, and plans to distribute Back to School Kits before the 2013/14 academic year. In these three fields, the Agency plans to appoint and train a total of 53 pschyosocial counsellors to respond to students’ needs.

In April, UNRWA organized a five-day capacity-building workshop in Amman, providing guidance and support in the development of self-study materials. With this training, the Agency’s office in Syria developed a complete set of such materials for grades 1-9 (available at http://syria.unrwa.org/edu), while staff in Gaza are creating a series of TV learning modules, based on the Syrian curriculum in Arabic, mathematics, science and English, which will be broadcast on the UNRWA satellite channel.

The support from the IFS has enabled UNRWA to offer summer learning and recreational activities for more than 8,000 children in Syria and Lebanon. The Agency is complementing IFS support by drawing on its own resources, including the Teacher Development and Student Empowerment (TDSE) and Inclusive Education programmes, and is working to train teachers across UNRWA in the delivery of high-quality education to children in emergency situations. As the conflict in Syria continues, UNRWA remains committed to providing Palestine refugee students, both those who remain within Syria and those who have been displaced, with the education and support that they require.

See the self-study materials developed for grades 1-9.

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 and deepening poverty. 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:

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

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