7 June 2012
UNRWA’s job creation programme (JCP) and the Palestine Wildlife Society highlighted their joint achievements and initiatives today, on the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated every year on 5 June. The celebration took place in Esh El Ghurab park (crow’s nest), a former Israeli military training area, transformed by JCP labourers into a public park.
In the presence of the governor of Bethlehem and the mayor of Beit Sahour, JCP presented a short film about their contributions towards protecting the environment and their participation in many initiatives such as Greening Palestine, in an effort to raise awareness and understand the vital role of environmental protection to achieve sustainable development. The guests also were invited to visit the natural history museum and the environment library, expected to be ready by June 2012, built by JCP labourers. This library will serve as a resource centre for Palestinian researchers and students and will also add practical components to Palestinian school curriculum about environmental education and protecting Palestine biodiversity.
West Bank deputy director of UNRWA operations David Hutton noted: “UNRWA contributed towards the sustainability of projects through its JCP programme, which works in close collaboration with local NGOs and partners. A special thank you also goes to all the labourers who exert tremendous effort to produce such great achievements.”
The UNRWA JCP programme has been in place since 2000, and has supported approximately 30 environmental projects across the West Bank, such as the Greening Palestine initiative, the raptor pest control initiative, and the wild board project. These projects have created job opportunities for approximately 807 unemployed refugees across the West Bank.
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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, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.
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