ABU DHABI, 10th December, 2017 (WAM) — The UAE has donated AED55 million to support education in Gaza in cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA.
The country has signed agreement with the UNRWA worth AED40.4 million, or US$11 million, and a tripartite cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, the UNRWA and the Dubai Cares Foundation worth AED14.6 million, or $4 million, to support the UN agency’s education programmes in Gaza, with the aim of guaranteeing continued access to education for local students in appropriate UNRWA schools.
Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francoise Vanni, Director of External Relations and Communications at the UNRWA, and Tariq Al Qaraq, Executive Director of the Dubai Cares Foundation signed the agreements.
Both agreements aim to support the strategic goal of ensuring that the requirements of various educational programmes for Palestinian refugee children in Gaza for the 2017-2018 school year are covered, which the UAE considers part of the pledge it made during the “Cairo International Conference on Palestine – Reconstructing Gaza” in October 2014.
Al Shamsi said that the Emirati grant will promote the educational process in Gaza, including the development of curricula and skills, by providing various educational materials to around 15,173 Palestinian refugee children. The grant also aims to enable the UNRWA to provide a safe educational environment for the refugee children, by keeping their school facilities clean and healthy, he added.
The grant will also provide stationery, school bags and supplies to all the Palestinian refugee children, which will support them and their families, by covering additional financial expenses at the start of every school year.
“The UAE is providing support and assistance to Palestinian refugees, as it believes in the importance of education in creating a better future for Palestinian students. We will continue cooperating with our partners to provide the necessary support and protect the rights of Palestinian children to education, and we are looking forward to strengthening our mutual efforts in dealing with urgent humanitarian issues,” Al Shamsi continued.
“I would like to thank the UAE Government and the Dubai Cares Foundation for their generous donation to the UNRWA’s programmes, which will provide basic education, health, relief and social services for over 5.3 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Vanni said.
“The UAE was among the first countries for three consecutive years to pledge additional support, which has helped the UNRWA to fulfil its humanitarian mandate for Palestine refugees. We still need to collect $61 million during the coming weeks to ensure the continuity of our services and maintain stability in the region,” she added.