Italy contributes EUR 1.5 million for emergency education to Palestine refugee children in Yarmouk camp

25 January 2023
UNRWA transports Palestine refugee students from Yarmouk refugee camp to schools in neighboring areas in Damascus, Syria. ©2022 UNRWA Photo

DAMASCUS

Italy contributed EUR 1.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to support the provision of emergency education to vulnerable Palestine refugee children in Yarmouk camp, Syria.

Yarmouk camp, once home to 160,000 Palestine refugees, sustained severe destruction due to the conflict. Despite heavy damage to a majority of UNRWA service installations,1 4,000 refugees have returned to the camp and lack basic services. 

This grant from the Government of Italy will rehabilitate an UNRWA school that has sustained heavy damage. Currently, UNRWA transports students from Yarmouk to a government school in a neighboring town. Once rehabilitated, the school will provide continued access to quality, inclusive and equitable education to the children of the camp.

“Italy appreciates UNRWA’s efforts towards access to education for the children in Yarmouk camp. Throughout the years, Italy has granted its support to the education and health activities for vulnerable Palestinians and Syrians living in the area,” said Massimiliano D’Antuono, Chargé d’Affaires of the Italian Embassy in Damascus.

“Considering the difficult access to fuel and its increasing price in the Country, we consider as more efficient and more protection-sensitive to support the light rehabilitation and equipment of the school inside the camp, instead of providing transportation costs for children to access out-of-the camp schools. This project strengthens, therefore, Italian Cooperation intervention by reducing the distance and increasing access to education,” continued Alessandra Piermattei, AICS Director for Lebanon and Syria

“I extend sincere gratitude to the Italian Cooperation for the very critical funding to UNRWA in Syria toward the rehabilitation of the school in Yarmouk, which will allow over 600 students to attend school in the camp,” Amanya Michael-Ebye, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, declared. He added that the number of students enrolled tripled since the last school year. Numbers are expected to continue increasing as more Palestine refugees return to their houses in Yarmouk since they can no longer afford skyrocketing rental fees outside the camp.

Italy has been a dedicated and reliable partner to UNRWA since 1954. In 2021, and despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 on its national economy, Italy was the 16th largest donor to UNRWA, allowing the Agency to continue to provide cash assistance and protection services to Palestine refugees in Syria as part of the UNRWA Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal.

End - 

Notes to Editor

1 Some 17 of 23 UNRWA installations in Yarmouk camp sustained heavy damage.

Background Information: 

 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

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For more information, please contact:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+962 (0)79 090 0140
Juliette Touma
UNRWA Director of Communications
Mobile: 
+972 54240 2753
Office: 
+962-79-867-4628