UNRWA starts constructing the largest library in Rafah camp, southern Gaza

07 April 2016
The initial stages of the library being constructed at Rafah Elementary Co-Ed School. © 2016 UNRWA Photo

To enhance literacy in the community, encourage critical thinking and supplement the school curricula, the UNRWA infrastructure and camp improvement programme (ICIP) handed over the construction project of a public library at Rafah Elementary Co-Ed School, in southern Gaza, to private contractors on 22 November 2015.

The actual construction activities started in early December 2015, and the library is expected to be functional by September 2016. To date, 30 per cent of construction works have been implemented.

The ongoing construction activities are expected to generate 9,000 work days of temporary job opportunities in the local community.

The library will be built on an area of 150 sq m and will include large reading areas, a canteen, stores and an administration room.

The library’s services will not only be limited to students and staff of the school, but will also be open to the public after school hours; this means that approximately 100,000 Palestine refugees living in Rafah camp will have access to the library, providing them with opportunities for self-education and lifelong learning.

The project is part of a generous donation from the Royal Charity Organization of Bahrain (RCO).

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
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Najwa Sheikh Ahmad
Acting Public Information Officer - Gaza Field Office
+972 597 920 542
+972 8 2887 488
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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