UNRWA Unveils a New Danish-Funded School in Yarmouk

18 June 2010

16 June 2010

The Ambassador of Denmark to Syria, Ms Christina Markus Lassen, today inaugurated a new school building in Yarmouk Camp. The Malkiyeh/Tarshiha school was built and equipped through a generous donation of USD 1,030,000 from the Danish government.

In her address, Ambassador Lassen highlighted that the opening of this school testifies to the continued commitment of the Danish government to UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees. The Ambassador also added: “The new school will contribute positively to the hopes and aspirations of its students… It will give them the opportunities they deserve.”

Operating on a double-shift system, the school is one of the 118 UNRWA schools in Syria which provides education to 2,500 Palestinian refugee students from Yarmouk, The school’s computer and education resources will also be available to the refugee community in Yarmouk. With UNRWA schools struggling to cope with the rise in enrolments, this new school fulfils an urgent need for more classroom space.

Roger Hearn, director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, expressed his gratitude to the Ambassador and to the Danish government. “Thanks to the generosity of the Danish government, UNRWA students now have access to a school environment conducive to learning and achievement,” noted Mr Hearn. He also thanked the Syrian government for its continued support for UNRWA and for Palestinian refugees.

Welcoming the donation, Mr Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees, thanked the Syrian government for its “generous and reliable” support for the Palestinian refugees in Syria and expressed his hope for continued generosity from the donor community.

The Danish government is one of UNRWA’s largest donors, contributing almost 20 million USD in 2009, and recently collaborating with UNRWA to host the Damascus Circus Show for Palestine refugee children in May 2010.

UNRWA provides education, healthcare, social services, shelter, and micro-credit services to over 470,000 Palestine refugees in Syria

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Hala Mukhles
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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$ 100 million.

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