The inauguration of Beit Ula Basic Girls School Nr 1, funded by the Arab Monetary Fund through the Islamic Development Bank. © 2022 UNRWA photo by Lucrezia Vittori
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) inaugurated the UNRWA Beit Ula Basic Girls' School No. 1, located in the village of Beit Ula village, northwest of AlKhalil city, in the occupied West Bank.
The opening ceremony was attended by Gwyn Lewis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in the West Bank, Engineer Ekhlass Ratrout, General Manager of Bayt Al Handasah Consultative Company, a Representative of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Naser Qatami, the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Advisor for Arab and Islamic Funds, Mohammad Amleh, Mayor of the Beit Ula Municipality, Mohammad Frookh, the Head of Directorate General of Ministry of Education in the southern West Bank and other representatives of the local civil society.
The construction of the school was made possible through a generous US$ 4.5 million contribution from the Arab Monetary Fund through the Islamic Development Bank. Led and implemented by the UNRWA Infrastructure and Camp Improvement team, the project includes constructing, furnishing and equipping the 5,300 square meter school with 36 classrooms, as well as science and computer labs, a library, a canteen and a playground.
This project contributes to the Agency’s strategic priority of providing quality, equitable, and inclusive basic education to Palestine refugees through the construction of educational premises that ensure the safety and security of the students and promote a conducive learning environment. The cutting-edge design of the school also takes into consideration sustainability and environmentally friendly building solutions, gender mainstreaming and inclusivity.
The Beit Ula Girls’ School, one of the largest UNRWA schools in the West Bank, will serve 1,316 Palestinian refugee students, supported by 46 educational staff members.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lewis said: “On behalf of UNRWA and the Palestine refugees whom we serve, I would like to thank the Arab Monetary Fund and the Islamic Development Bank for their generosity, and for being such an important partner to the Agency. I would also like to extend my appreciation to all UNRWA staff who have worked tirelessly to complete the project. We are here, today, to celebrate this achievement that will first and foremost improve the learning experience of our students.”
In her speech in the inauguration Engineer Ratrout said: “I am happy to be a part of this happy event representing the Islamic Development Bank and participating in the inauguration of yet another project to support the steadfastness of Palestine refugees. This project funded by the Arab Monetary Fund through the Islamic Development Bank will contribute to bring quality education to a new generation of Palestinians.”
Between 2018 and 2021, thanks to support by the Islamic Development Bank, UNRWA was able to initiate construction and rehabilitation of various installations across the West Bank, including three schools and two health centers. The most recent US$ 2 million-contribution from the Arab Monetary Fund through the Islamic Development Bank, the manager of the Al-Aqsa Fund, also enables UNRWA to upgrade its solid waste management tools and equipment.
Since 2010, the Islamic Development Bank, through the Al-Aqsa Fund, the Arab Monetary Fund and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, has contributed with more than US$ 179 million to UNRWA across its fields of operations.