Silatech partners with UNRWA to promote youth employment in Palestine

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Twenty-year old Fares Sani is measuring window glass before cutting it, in Gaza. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Khalil Adwan‬

Silatech, a regional social organization that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young Arabs, has signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to empower youth and promote employment in Gaza, the State of Palestine.

The agreement – signed by Mohammed al-Naimi, Acting CEO of Silatech, and Omar Rifai, Head of the Arab Partnerships Unit at UNRWA, on 15 February 2016 at Silatech’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar – aims to provide baseline training courses focused on key construction and health and safety skills to youth in Gaza who are interested in pursuing jobs or currently employed in the construction sector.

“This agreement will support our mission in connecting Arab youth to job opportunities,” said Mr. al-Naimi. “It is another step towards achieving the vision of our founder, H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Naser, in having an Arab world in which young people are able to work and are engaged in the economic development of their societies.”

As part of the agreement, Silatech will make available its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programme, modules and training manuals. These materials are designed to assess the skills and knowledge required of those working in the construction sector to perform their work effectively and safely.

Thanking Silatech, Mr. Rifai noted, “The signing of this MOU signifies another important step, not only in serving the youth of Palestine, but also in strengthening further the UNRWA-Qatari relationship for the benefit of all Palestine refugees."

UNRWA currently manages two TVET centres in Gaza. The two centres offer approximately 50 regular courses and employ over 200 hundred staff. As the most reputable organization in Gaza delivering technical and vocational education and training, UNRWA has extensive experience in delivering vocational short-term training courses for vulnerable groups in high-demand fields in the local market, including construction.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 81 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

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

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724