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Microsoft partnership for UNRWA students

News and Press Release
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The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has announced a joint initiative with the Microsoft IT Academy to better equip students at the Agency’s vocational and technical training centres (VTTCs) with the practical knowledge necessary to succeed in a business world heavily reliant on technology.

The new programme blends classroom lectures with e-learning to develop practical skills in the set-up and maintenance of IT infrastructure. For example, students will learn how to set up an email server and a company network, practical skills needed by companies of all sizes that will greatly increase the chances of a student’s placement in the market.

The Microsoft IT Academy programme is a global IT education solution that is designed to help schools ensure the success of their students and educators alike. With access to the latest training resources on Microsoft technologies, educators can now prepare their students to enter the workforce with IT skills that are in demand by employers. The Microsoft IT Academy currently includes over 15,000 academic organizations in 133 nations, and positively impacts 8.5 million educators and students worldwide.

"At UNRWA, we firmly believe in providing students with an education that will stand them in good stead for their entire lifetime”, said Dr. Ayman Murad, Head of the UNRWA Education Partnerships, Communications and ICT Unit. “We are grateful to Microsoft for helping the next generation of the Palestinian workforce take on the challenges of the modern world.”

Microsoft Country Manager Hussein Malhas commented: “By virtue of this partnership, we seek to provide students with the opportunity to attain certifications that help them not only enter, but also succeed in the labor market. This collaboration underscores UNRWA’s progressive approach and genuine interest in supporting its students and learning community, and we are confident that it will yield positive results for all involved parties.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724