UNRWA and EU Open Day Showcases Siblin Centre Students’ Achievements

06 July 2018
Students showcase their projects and achievements in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) during the open day UNRWA organized, with support from the European Union, in Siblin Training Centre, Saida, southern of Lebanon.  © 2018 Photo by Ahmad Mahmoud.

With support from the European Union (EU), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) organized an open day today, in Siblin Training Centre, in Saida, Southern Lebanon. The event aims to showcase the achievements of youth participating in the UNRWA Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET). The event aimed to promote and increase employer and community awareness of the TVET program available at the Siblin Training Centre, as well as highlight EU support for Palestine refugee youth.

The event also commemorates a generous contribution of EUR 5 million by the EU to a project to support Palestine refugees in Lebanon. The open day was attended by Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon (Organizational Support), Daniela Leinen, representatives from EU delegation to Lebanon, private sector employers, community representatives, students, parents, and media. The EU project aims to enhance the employment prospects of Palestine refugee youth in Lebanon by increasing the number of students who graduate to a secondary education and increase their access to vocational and tertiary educational options.

On this occasion, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone said: “The youth potential for achieving success is huge. Education and fulfilling employment opportunities are critical for ensuring a dignified future for young Palestine refugees living in Lebanon.”

The open day included booths by the Career Guidance Unit, Legal Aid Unit, Protection Unit and Employment Service Centres, all to raise awareness about the Agency’s integrated intervention and to enhance employability services. During the 2017-18 academic year more than 900 Palestine refugees were enrolled in the UNRWA TVET programme in Lebanon.

EU and UNRWA: Together for Palestine Refugees

Since 1971, the European Union and UNRWA have maintained a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East. Today, the European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. This reliable and predictable support from the European Union enables UNRWA to provide core services to more than 5.4 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, including quality education for roughly half a million children and primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients. Collectively, the EU and its Member States are also among the largest contributors to the Agency’s humanitarian emergency appeals and projects in response to various crises and specific needs across the region. The partnership between the European Union and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestine refugees to be better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, thus contributing to the development of the entire region.

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 5.4 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. 

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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