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UNRWA provides skills training on water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies for staff members
To build UNRWA staff capacity in emergency preparedness, the UNRWA Collective Centre Management Unit (CCMU) organized a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Emergencies Training of Trainers (TOT) for 20 staff members of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Programme (ICIP), held on 27 and 28 July at the UNRWA Gaza Field Office. The training that included presenters and speakers from the CCMU, other UNRWA programmes and the international aid organization Handicap International, covered a variety of important cross cutting topics related to WASH such as protection, gender, accountability, health, logistics and donor visibility.
The objective of the initiative was to train relevant ICIP engineers as trainers to manage the WASH component in future emergencies in terms of designing and implementing the WASH response based on humanitarian standards and humanitarian principles. The training was a mixture of technical and theoretical WASH aspects as well as scenario-based practical exercises.
“This training is really valuable for all involved staff members; they already had a wide-range of skills and experience, however, this training will help them to enhance and develop their performance specifically in the field of emergency WASH,” commented Mr. Abdul Fattah Burkan, a WASH specialist who works with the CCMU.
Further to this two-day workshop, on 29 July the CCMU held a similar WASH cross cutting training for other UNRWA staff members who had been involved in the management of Collective Centres over the past nine months, such as area coordinators and CCMU personnel.
“We are trying to raise the professionalism and expertise of all staff members involved in shelter management, for example through comprehensive training on issues such as protection and how to deal with persons with special needs; this will help maintaining the dignity of beneficiaries when providing these kinds of services,” Mr. Burkan added.
Both trainings have been generously supported by Islamic Relief USA.While this contribution from Islamic Relief USA provided urgently-needed support for Palestine refugees, the UNRWA General Fund deficit still stands at US$ 101 million.
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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