UAE pledges Dh55m for Gaza Strip

Two cooperation agreements signed with UNRWA to support education sector in enclave

Abu Dhabi: The UAE has pledged Dh55 million to support the educational sector in the Gaza strip.

The UAE’s grant aims to support various education programmes being implemented in Gaza Strip by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to ensure that students will continue to receive basic education within an appropriate school environment through UNRWA schools.

On Sunday, the UAE and UNRWA signed a Dh10.4 million ($11 million) cooperation agreement and another tripartite cooperation agreement worth Dh14.6 million ($4 million) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UNRWA and Dubai Cares.

The agreements were signed Sultan Mohammad Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, and Francoise Vanni, Director, External Relations and Communications at UNRWA and Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares.

The two agreements are aimed at supporting the strategic objective of ensuring a comprehensive coverage for the educational programmes of the 2017-2018 academic year for Palestinian refugee children in the Gaza Strip, which the UAE regards as part of its pledge in the Cairo International Conference on Palestine, ‘Reconstructing Gaza’, held on October 2014.

“The UAE’s grant will enhance the educational process in the Gaza Strip; develop teaching methods and curricula and foster skills through providing various types of educational materials for approximately 15,173 children of Palestinian refugees in 14 schools distributed in different geographical areas of the Gaza Strip.

“The grant will also enable UNRWA to provide a safe learning environment for Palestinian refugee children by maintaining clean and healthy school facilities,” said Sultan Mohammad Al Shamsi.

The grant will provide Palestinian refugee children with educational materials, stationery, school bags and other supplies, which will relieve some of the financial burdens on students and their families, Al Shamsi added.

For her part, Vanni said: “I would like to thank the UAE Government for its generous contribution to UNRWA programme’s budget, which provides basic services in education, health, protection, relief and social services to more than 5.3 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

“For the third year in a row, the UAE has been one of the first countries to take a step forward. In September, it pledged additional support, which enabled UNRWA to carry out its humanitarian mission.

“A total of $61 million is still to be collected in the coming weeks to ensure continuity of services without interruption and ensure the maintenance of stability in the region,” Vanni added.

Al Gurg added: “The recently signed cooperation agreement will be another milestone in the exemplary partnership and cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Dubai Cares and UNRWA.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its support to this agreement, which will undoubtedly contribute to alleviating the suffering of Palestinian refugees.”

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