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Swiss Ambassador to Jordan visits Amman New Camp and UNRWA Amman Training Centre
H.E. Ms. Emilija Georgieva, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Jordan and Iraq, visited Amman New Camp and the UNRWA Amman Training Centre in Amman, Jordan. She was welcomed by Olaf Becker, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, and H.E. Eng. Rafiq Khirfan, Director General of the Department of Palestinian Affairs. The visit included a tour of the UNRWA Amman Training Centre where she was briefed on the vocational training provided to Palestine Refugee youth by UNRWA. Over the past three years, 4,655 students have graduated from UNRWA training centres in Jordan, of which 75 per cent of female students found employment within one year of graduating.
H.E. Ms. Emilija Georgieva, Ambassador of Switzerland to Jordan and Iraq, reflecting on the significance of this visit, commented: “The numbers of graduated students are impressive and speak for themselves. Thank you for your important work and the services you provide to support Palestinian refugees in Jordan.”
Switzerland is currently seconding a Gender Advisor to UNRWA Jordan Field Office to enhance gender mainstreaming within UNRWA policies so that both women and men have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. More recently, Switzerland funded the project, “Enhanced employability of Palestine Refugee youth in the field of digital technology for increased livelihood opportunities” which aims to develop the digital skills of Palestine Refugee youth to increase their employability, and chances to contribute overall to the Jordanian economy. This commitment remains consistent with UNRWA’s overarching objective of enriching the educational environment for Palestine Refugee students, who have found refuge in Jordan.
Mr. Becker expressed his appreciation for the Swiss Confederation’s diverse and substantial support to UNRWA through contributions to the Programme Budget and Emergency Appeals, saying:
"I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Switzerland for their unwavering support and solidarity with UNRWA and Palestinian refugees. Its dedication to gender mainstreaming, and Livelihoods of refugee communities has been exemplary. It is a testament to a commitment to empowering young Palestinian refugees, enhancing their employability, contributing to the local economy and overall, to a more dignified life. We value this partnership to enrich the educational environment for Palestinian Refugee students in Jordan. Together, we are making a tangible difference in their lives”.
Switzerland confirmed an annual contribution of CHF 20 million to the UNRWA Programme Budget in 2023-2024. In addition, in 2023, Switzerland announced a CHF 2.2 million top-up to its Programme Budget at the Agency’s Pledging Conference earlier this year, as well as CHF 1 million for the Emergency Appeal in Lebanon.
Notes to Editors
- UNRWA operates seven schools in Amman New Camp accommodating 6,494 students from grades 1-10, and one health centre which serves over 43,000 Palestine refugees.
- The Jordan TVET programme, established in 1953, provides semi-professional and vocational (Trade) training in two training centres located in Amman: Wadi Seer Training Center (WSTC) and Amman Training Centre (ATC).
- WSTC provides six technical courses and 27 vocational courses and ATC provides 9 technical courses and one vocational course.
- The UNRWA Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts (FESA) was established in Amman in September 1993 to provide pre and in-service teacher education at the higher education level.
- In Jordan, youth unemployment stands at 47 per cent.
- Ninety per cent of UNRWA TVET graduates in Jordan secure employment upon graduation.
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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