OFID and UNRWA Sign US$1 Million Grant to Support Quality Education in Jerusalem

Amman, Jordan

13 September 2017

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has made a commitment of US$1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which will support the UNRWA education program in East Jerusalem. OFID’s Director-General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish and UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl signed the agreement today in Amman, Jordan.

The contribution will enable UNRWA to rehabilitate and expand its girls school in Beit Inan—a Palestinian village within the Jerusalem Governorate. The work will include the construction of new classrooms, a computer lab, administrative rooms, and a counsellor’s office, in addition to a number of other facilities. Equipment and supplies will also be provided, and various rehabilitation and maintenance work will improve the school’s premise and landscape. The project will begin on 1 October 2017 and work is expected to be completed by 31 January 2019.

At the signing ceremony, Mr. Al-Herbish underlined OFID’s long-term partnership with UNRWA, which spans nearly four decades. “We are confident that this new project will be yet another milestone in our exemplary partnership and cooperation,” he stated. Al-Herbish also spoke of the “remarkable effectiveness and high social impact” of projects and programs implemented by UNRWA, and commended its “role in improving the livelihoods and prospects for Palestinian refugees, and in reinforcing social capital and cohesion.”

“We are deeply appreciative of this contribution which shows OFID’s strong commitment to support UNRWA and the Palestine refugees,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. “This project will enhance the quality of education and learning conditions for Palestine refugee children in the Jerusalem area, assisting them towards realising a more dignified standard of living in those villages,” said the Commissioner-General.

Beit Inan is one of the ‘frontier villages’ close to the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) and the West Bank Barrier. Such villages suffer from a significant shortage of infrastructure and services, including education facilities.