UNRWA Job Creation Programme to provide 3,100 new jobs for Gazan private sector

26 October 2009

26 October 2009

Gaza City

UNRWA‘s Director of Operations in Gaza today announced the doubling of the Agency‘s job creation programme to a total of 14,000 job opportunities a month, with 3,100 jobs specifically in support of the Gazan private sector. The announcement was made by John Ging as he met with representatives of private sector associations and businesses at a local cement factory in northern Gaza.

Expansion of the Agency‘s job creation programme in support of private sector employment takes place in recognition of the difficulties faced by Gaza‘s business community. The crippling effects of the tightened blockade, compounded by the devastating consequences of the recent conflict have left the Gazan private sector, once a pillar of the local economy, in a state of collapse. An estimated total of 120,000 jobs have been lost in the private sector as 3,750 establishments have been forced to close down.

"Prior to the blockade, more than half of all employment in Gaza was private sector driven," said Mr Ging. "The situation now is that there are very few businesses left operational and UNRWA would like to support some of these through the job creation programme. The private sector has been singled out as it constitutes the backbone of any functioning economy, offering opportunities both to businesses and to ordinary people who wish to provide for themselves and their families."

A new and central feature of the job creation programme will be that applicants from among those who have been identified as abject poor will get priority access to jobs. "The hard-working, innovative people of Gaza are paying the price of the continued blockade. Unprecedented unemployment and poverty levels mean something must be done to assist the poorest of the poor, who remain a priority for UNRWA. Job creation is one of several initiatives by the Agency to help those who are most in need," Ging noted.

For more information please contact:

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Public Information Office
Phone: 0599 428061
Email: a.abu-hasna@unrwa.org

Jamal Hamad
UNRWA Public Information Office
Phone: 0599 416877
Email: j.hamad@unrwa.org    


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$ 81 million.

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