UNRWA Committed to Continued Support for and Engagement in Its Students’ Future: Agency Organizes Roundtable Discussion with 40 Diplomats

01 December 2017

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) organized a roundtable discussion and a camp field visit for the diplomatic missions in Jordan, as part of its continued partnership and communication efforts with the donor community. Just over 40 diplomats, representing about 25 embassies and foreign delegations to Jordan, were brought together with UNRWA students from Palestine refugee camps across Jordan, who showcased their achievements and discussed the challenges facing them in the area of education.

Held at the UNRWA Wadi Seer Training Centre, the roundtable discussion saw UNRWA Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme students engage with the diplomats on such issues as educational life, their aspirations and future plans and the challenges facing them. The students discussed the various courses and learning paths offered by the Agency’s TVET programme in Jordan, through the Amman and Wadi Seer Vocational and Training Centres, which provide practical training to young Palestine refugees, equipping them with skills relevant to the labour markets in the Middle East. Students from the Wadi Seer Training Centre’s culinary training programme prepared a breakfast menu for the participants. 

The one-day programme included a field visit to the Qusour Preparatory Girls School – a rented school building that exemplifies the continued leading challenge for UNRWA in Jordan. The Diplomats witnessed the challenges of delivering educational services in buildings that were not constructed to serve such a purpose. These included severe overcrowding, poor lighting and ventilation and lack of additional facilities such as science and computer labs, libraries and proper playgrounds.

The diplomats also visited the Marka Preparatory Girls School, where they met the School Parliament’s members. The student parliamentarians showcased their debating skills and achievements in promoting human rights. They also presented some of the volunteering and community service initiatives they have been engaged in.

The diplomats were briefed about UNRWA health and relief and social services at their final stop at Marka Health Centre. The centre, which serves over 61,000 Palestine refugees, was recently expanded and renovated. On average, each of the doctors working at the centre provides just over 60 consultations per day.

On behalf of UNRWA and Palestine refugees, the Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies expressed gratitude to the international community and the Agency’s donors for their continued support. “The high rate of participation by diplomats in today’s roundtable discussion and field visits is a clear sign of the continued support by the international community and our partners and of their commitment to Agency’s mandate,” Mr. Davies said. “UNRWA is committed to provide better, more accessible services for Palestine refugees in Jordan and to continue to support their human development.”

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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