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Qatar Fund for Development and Al Fakhoora Rehabilitate Schools Across the Besieged Gaza Strip
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), representatives from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and Education Above All foundation through Al Fakhoora programme, held a ceremony to commemorate the Agency’s partnership with Al Fakhoora through closing of “Support to the UNRWA education programme in the Gaza Strip” project. Some 86,000 Palestine refugee students directly benefited from the project.
The closing ceremony was held at the UNRWA Jabalia Preparatory Girls’ School “B” and was attended by a high level delegation from QFFD and Al Fakhoora, in addition to senior UNRWA staff, students and representatives from the Parents’ Council and the local community.
A generous contribution of US$ 4,612,022 from QFFD through Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All foundation enabled the Agency to implement vital maintenance works and upgrade school equipment in forty-three UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip. This funding enabled the Agency to enhance the quality and safety of students’ learning environments following hostilities in 2014 on the besieged Strip.
All of the targeted schools by the project had been used as designated emergency shelters for internally displaced persons. Many of them subsequently served as collective shelters to accommodate refugees facing extended displacement.
Throughout the project, extensive repair and maintenance works were carried out at the schools. In addition, selected schools were supplied with supplementary materials tailored to their specific needs such as generators, desks, laptops, and water pumps.
“We greatly appreciate the strategic partnership between UNRWA and the Qatar Fund for Development through Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All foundation. QFFD’s support provided through Al Fakhoora was crucial to enable the Agency to restore a safe and secure learning environment for tens of thousands of children in UNRWA schools following the 2014 conflict,” said David de Bold, Senior Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza.
Mr. Fahad Al Sulaiti, Chief Executive Officer of Education Above All foundation said: “Today, we see solid educational buildings that stand as a real proof of the depth of partnership that Education Above All foundation has built with United Nations organizations that share the same vision and purpose, these investments in the construction of educational institutions aimed not only for construction, but also at investing in the Palestinian people and their education, which is the very core of any renaissance, these investments are in line with the vision of Education Above All foundation that is based on providing new opportunities for a better future and real hope for children and youth, with quality of education that insures equity and inclusiveness as a key factor in achieving sustainable development.
Thanks to the Agency’s partnership with QFFD through Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All foundation, thousands of Palestine refugee students will continue to benefit from the rehabilitation of these schools; ensuring the delivery of a quality education in a safe learning environment.
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 5.4 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.
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