UNRWA and EU inaugurate girls' dormitory at Damascus Training Centre

27 April 2009

27 April 2009


Mr. Angel Gutierrez, Director of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Commission in Syria and Karen Koning AbuZayd, UNRWA Commissioner-General today inaugurated the European Union-funded girls‘ dormitory at the Damascus Training Centre (DTC) and took part in the activities of the Centre‘s Open Day.

The dormitory, which can accommodate 38 girls from remote parts of Syria, is part of the employment and vocational education project financed by the European Union. The project aims to alleviate poverty by enhancing employability and employment opportunities for Palestine refugees in Syria, especially the youth.

"Our partnership with the European Union is fundamental for achieving further and better opportunities for youth Palestine refugees, providing them access to a wider labour market and, eventually, the chance of an enhanced and brighter future, through proper education, skills training and vocational training courses," said AbuZayd.

In his speech, Mr. Gutierrez reaffirmed the EU support for UNRWA and Palestine refugees. "This project will further foster our partnership with UNRWA and will provide young Palestinian refugee women with the tools they need to establish themselves in the society."

Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees expressed his appreciation for the long-term support of the EU to the Palestine refugees. "We are grateful for all the help we have received from the EU and we are looking forward to future cooperation."

The inauguration of the girls’ dormitory, the first of its kind at the Centre, took place during the Damascus Training Centre’s Open Day. This year the Open Day focused on the Centre’s engineering section and included live demonstrations and exhibition of students’ work in Decoration and Interior design, Assistant Civil Engineering, Assistant Architect Carpentry and Furniture Making and Graphic Design.

The EUR2.5 million project started in 2006 and is now more than half way through its implementation. Achievements to date at the Damascus Training Centre include the renovation of workshops and building of new computer laboratories. The Centre’s facilities and course offerings were enriched with the introduction of two new courses in Graphic Design and Mechatronics. Thanks to these activities, which also include three month training courses, the Centre is able to make a real contribution to further enhancing the employability of Palestinian refugees by equipping them with relevant marketable skills.

The Damascus Training Centre provides vocational and technical training and equips Palestine refugees for the labour market.

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For further information please contact:

Hala Mukhles
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Mobile: 0933416591

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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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Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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