UNRWA and UNICC Sign Ground Breaking Partnership Agreement

19 June 2020
Mr. Kaan Cetinturk, UNRWA CIO and Director of Information Management and Technology Department, on a visit to the IT Service Centre in Gaza during a visit with Palestine refugee staff in February 2020. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Hinnawi.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed an agreement with the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) that aims to enhance livelihood and human development opportunities for Palestine refugees in Gaza, something that both parties strongly believe in.

UNRWA employs young and qualified Palestine refugees at its IT Service Centre (ITSC) in Gaza to provide service desk, application development, infrastructure and information management services to all five field offices of the Agency. With this agreement, UNICC will be able to benefit from the capabilities of UNRWA in the following areas: (i) ICT technical capacity augmentation; (ii) ICT end-to-end solution delivery; and (iii) ICT operation and maintenance support. This enhances the common objectives of the organizations which believe in cooperation and integrated efforts to enhance livelihood and human development opportunities. 

Speaking about the agreement, Mr. Kaan Cetinturk, UNRWA CIO and Director of Information Management and Technology Department, said: “Through this joint project, young and skilled Palestine refugees will be able to contribute to the digital transformation of the UN in the IT domain without the restrictions of geographic borders.”

Strengthening refugee capabilities and increasing livelihood opportunities are two pillars of the UNRWA strategy towards Palestine refugees and constitute direct contributions to  the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Mr. Sameer Chauhan, Director of UNICC added: “This agreement will strengthen the UNICC capacity to deliver reliable ICT services driven by best practices. With its world-class technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure, together with the vast cross-domain experience of its very knowledgeable staff, ICC is always ready to offer UN-friendly shared solutions to United Nations organizations and international institutions with similar missions and value.”

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.

ICC is an inter-agency facility of the United Nations established by the General Assembly in 1970 and mandated to provide information technology services. With almost 50 years of experience providing information and communications Technology (ICT) services to the UN family and related organizations, ICC is the leading provider and the go-to service provider to maximize the sharing of infrastructure, systems and skills, and generate economies of scale to benefit its over 60 Clients.

ICC clients include more than 35 UN organizations and more than 25 related organizations. ICC services include from information security, data analytics, software services & cloud, platform services and infrastructure services, among many others. For further information, visit: www.unicc.org/what-we-do

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140