Muslim World League Donates US$ 1 Million to UNRWA

23 April 2020
Students at the UNRWA Wadi Seer Training Centre in Amman, Jordan, listen follow a lecture by their teacher. (c) 2019 UNRWA Photo

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted education systems worldwide, the international non-governmental organization Muslim World League (MWL) contributed US$ 1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) toward protecting critical vocational training programmes for young Palestine refugees in Jordan.

Every year, UNRWA provides vocational and technical training ranging from nursing to laboratory technicians, accounting, engineering and more to approximately 1,600 trainees at the Wadi Seer Training Centre (WSTC). In line with educational institutions worldwide, UNRWA began shifting those courses to a remote learning modality in mid-March to ensure 1,000 trainees would not lose a semester of training. Through the Agency’s Education in Emergencies (EiE) service, 110 WSTC instructors are administering technical and practical instruction materials and exams across multiple specializations via online closed classrooms.

“We are extremely proud of thousands of young Palestine refugee women and men who have graduated from UNRWA technical and vocational training programmes throughout the years,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. “This generous support by the Muslim World League comes at a time when most of the world’s attention is focused on the humanitarian response to COVID-19, while we at UNRWA are trying to maintain both the emergency response and the long-term human development within our community.”

The new funding will enable UNRWA to upgrade its training equipment and safety devices for trainees and instructors and cover staff salaries for one year. The funding will also assist with the rehabilitation of part of the facilities once the emergency around the pandemic has subsided and training centres once again operate normally.

‘’As education is key to developing and strengthening societies, The Muslim World League is proud to partner with The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to deliver basic education and job skills training to thousands of youth across Jordan,’’ said H.E. Undersecretary for Executive Affairs MWL, Abdulrahman AL Mattar.

Jordan is host to approximately 2.2 million registered Palestine refugees – of those, 1.53 million (nearly 68 per cent) are aged 15-64. In an intensely competitive labour market with an unemployment rate among young people at a soaring 37 per cent, UNRWA provides refugee youth with skills that help them access sustainable employment opportunities. The market-driven curriculum throughout all technical and vocational training centres has ensured a high level of post-graduation employment; in 2018 nearly 96 per cent of the Agency’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates benefited from post-graduation employment.

MWL was founded in 1962 and is based in Saudi Arabia. The organization conducts emergency relief and development missions through 50 branches worldwide

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140