Lebanon: A vocational training centre funded by Germany opens in the north

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in the presence of the German Chargé d'Affaires, Ms Irene Plank, inaugurated on 29 October, a new Vocational Training Centre in the North, fully funded by the German Government providing additional training places for North Lebanon Area students.

The Centre located near Nahr el-Bared camp offers nine courses focused in an initial period, on construction trades. It will run in a rented building for two intakes (2008-2010 and 2009-2011) providing marketable skills to around 250 trainees per intake.

The opening of the new centre will help Palestinian youth living in the North to improve their skills and find jobs, contributing thus to the improvement of their families.

Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA's five fields of operations - Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem - are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid.

UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA's operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors. The Agency's regular budget for 2008-2009 is $1.1 billion, which covers the recurrent costs of the Agency's education, health and relief and social services activities.