Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories are grappling with increased hardship. (File photo)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Government of Italy signed on Tuesday an EUR 2 million agreement in support of Palestine refugee students in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The agreement was signed at the UNRWA Jerusalem Girls' School and was attended by the Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, Giuseppe Fedele, the Director of AICS, Guglielmo Giordano, and the UNRWA Director of Partnerships, Karim Amer.
UNRWA said in a press release that this project, with the support of the Italian Government, will ensure an adequate environment for 46,000 UNRWA school students in the West Bank, guaranteeing that 96 UNRWA schools are capable and ready to identify child protection issues and provide necessary support, as well as improving the service delivery of education and promote students’ digital literacy.
This support comes in addition to the EUR 1 million the Government of Italy contributed towards health and protection services for Palestine refugees in Syria. This funding will enable UNRWA to sustain the provision of primary, secondary and tertiary health care at 23 of its health centres and health points.
In addition, the contribution will help the Agency to extend its protection services and awareness programming over the next 12 months by covering one staff member and supporting various protection activities, trainings and workshops.
“Over the years, Italy has proven to be a reliable and longstanding supporter of UNRWA, its mandate and activities across all fields of operation. By working to meet both the basic core service requirements and the longer-term needs of more than five million Palestine refugees, UNRWA continues to serve as an essential anchor of stability in the region,” said Giuseppe Fedele, Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem.
“Through these generous contributions, the Government of Italy has demonstrated its longstanding commitment to Palestine refugees across the Middle East. In particular, understanding the vital importance education plays in supporting the children and the youth of the West Bank to develop their full potential,” said Karim Amer, UNRWA Director of Partnerships. “The breadth of contributions the Government of Italy is giving in support of UNRWA showcases their importance as a key donor to the Agency and its backing of all Palestine refugees.”
In 2021, the Government of Italy has provided predictable and diverse funding to UNRWA supporting activities across the Agency’s priorities.