4 October 2010
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr Filippo Grandi, presided on 4 October over a ceremony to dedicate Jenin School for Boys to the late Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Ahmed, who headed Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, tragically passed away in a flying accident in March.
In the presence of officials of the Palestinian Authority, the Governor of Jenin, Mr Qaddoura Mousa, the Local Community Representative, Mr Adnan Al Hindi, and UNRWA’s Director for the West Bank, Barbara Shenstone, Mr Grandi spoke warmly of Sheikh Ahmed’s generosity and that of his family and country, recalling that the Zayed Foundation generously funded the expansion of the Jenin School for Boys in 2008, along with the rehabilitation of four other schools in the West Bank, that it was Sheikh Ahmed’s father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, God rest his soul, who generously funded the rebuilding of Jenin Camp which was completed in 2005, and that the UAE Red Crescent, under the direction of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed, was a regular benefactor of the Agency.
Mr Grandi praised the United Arab Emirates government and people for having been a strong and consistent supporter of UNRWA and Palestinian refugees for many years and expressed the wish that this cooperation continues and expands further. He said: “We have lost a friend and benefactor in the shape of the late Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed. The renamed school however will be a constant reminder to us not only of the good works which he did but also the need to take forward his noble vision of helping the dispossessed and the least privileged, among them of course Palestinian refugees.”
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UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict.
UNRWA is mostly funded by voluntary contributions from States. The Agency’s core budget for 2010-2011 stands at US$1.23 billion. In 2009, emergency appeals for the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon amounted to US$827.4 million.
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