UNRWA and Golden Elevator Company to Train Palestine Refugee Youth

30 August 2013
Mr. Hussam Kiresh, the general director of the Golden Elevators Company, Mazin Ghuniem Deputy Minister of Local Government Palestinian Authority, Felipe Sanchez Director, of UNRWA Operations, WBFO, UNRWA.          Dr. Azzam Saleh, Head of Programme, FAO West Bank and Gaza Strip, Mr. Pablo Recalde, Head of WFP West Bank and Gaza Strip and Felipe Sanchez, Director of UNRWA Operations, WBFO, UNRWA.

At a ceremony in Nablus, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Golden Elevator Company signed a memorandum of understanding to improve training and employment opportunities for Palestine refugee youth studying in the UNRWA Kalandia Training Centre (KTC). 
 
Through this two-year partnership, the Golden Elevator Company will provide six-month training opportunities in elevator maintenance to 20 students of that field, and a further 20 with different specializations. The Company will expose KTC students to local market agents and define the skills needed to build the capacity of instructors, while also providing KTC with some equipment.

KTC began offering an elevator maintenance major in 2012, and remains the only West Bank institution offering such a specialization. Together, UNRWA and the Golden Elevator Company will review the training manual and curriculum, define graduation requirements and evaluate graduating students.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hussam Kirresh, General Director of the Golden Elevator Company, said he was proud to celebrate the launch of such a significant project. "This cooperation seeks to intensify both our efforts to create a well-trained and educated group of youth who have the practical and theoretical knwoledge to take on the demands of the Palestinian economy," Mr Kirresh said.

Felipe Sanchez, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, expressed the Agency's gratitude to the Company for its support and noted that UNRWA would continue to increase its engagement with Palestine refugee youth.

Mr Sanchez added: "Enhancing vocational training opportunities for youth was one of the ten commitments the Agency made during the youth conference in March 2012." UNRWA has launched a comprehensive vocational-education strategy, 'Towards a More Self-Reliant Youth', which includes building partnerships and relationships with all stakeholders, including private-sector partners like the Golden Elevator Company.

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 US$ 56 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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