Students at the UNRWA Wadi Seer Training Centre in Amman, Jordan, listen follow a lecture by their teacher. (c) 2019 UNRWA Photo
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted education systems worldwide, the international non-governmental organization Muslim World League (MWL) contributed US$ 1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
UNRWA said in a statement that the sum will serve to protect critical vocational training programs for young Palestine refugees in Jordan.
Every year, UNRWA provides vocational and technical training ranging from nursing to laboratory technicians, accounting, engineering and more to approximately 1,600 trainees at the Wadi Seer Training Centre (WSTC). In line with educational institutions worldwide, UNRWA began shifting those courses to a remote learning modality in mid-March to ensure 1,000 trainees would not lose a semester of training. Through the Agency’s Education in Emergencies (EiE) service, 110 WSTC instructors are administering technical and practical instruction materials and exams across multiple specializations via online closed classrooms.
“We are extremely proud of thousands of young Palestine refugee women and men who have graduated from UNRWA technical and vocational training programs throughout the years,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. “This generous support by the Muslim World League comes at a time when most of the world’s attention is focused on the humanitarian response to COVID-19, while we at UNRWA are trying to maintain both the emergency response and the long-term human development within our community.”
The new funding will enable UNRWA to upgrade its training equipment and safety devices for trainees and instructors and cover staff salaries for one year. The funding will also assist with the rehabilitation of part of the facilities once the emergency around the pandemic has subsided and training centers once again operate normally.
“As education is key to developing and strengthening societies, The Muslim World League is proud to partner with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to deliver basic education and job skills training to thousands of youth across Jordan,’’ said Undersecretary for Executive Affairs MWL, Abdulrahman AL Mattar.
Jordan is host to approximately 2.2 million registered Palestine refugees – of those, 1.53 million (nearly 68 per cent) are aged 15-64. In an intensely competitive labor market with an unemployment rate among young people at a soaring 37 per cent, UNRWA provides refugee youth with skills that help them access sustainable employment opportunities.