Gaza, 2 March 2023 – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) inaugurated the UNRWA Gaza Preparatory Girls’ School A & B in Gaza today. The ceremony was attended by a German delegation led by Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The delegation was welcomed by Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza.
The Gaza Preparatory Girls’ A & B School was established and equipped under the Regional Programme for the Improvement of Living Conditions of Palestine Refugee Camps (REPAC). KfW, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, provided a financial contribution of EUR 5 million in support of this programme.
The school’s design and construction proudly implement Child Friendly Schools (CFS) standards and guidelines, enabling 3,000 Palestine refugee girls to enjoy an enhanced, modern and safe learning environment. The school compound includes shaded areas, improved ventilation in 42 renovated, wider classrooms, which have been colourfully painted, sun-breaking elements, as well as thermal and sound insulation.
Additionally, the school’s roof features a green area and playground. Its library includes a theater where students can perform and play. This generous contribution also helped to improve the school’s WASH facilities, and allowed for the installation of solar panels for sustainable energy. Adapted to the Gazan context, the facilities can function as a Designated Emergency Shelter (DES) in emergency situations.
While touring the school, the delegation spoke with students who expressed gratitude to the support that has transformed their school environment into a joyful and creative place for learning. After visiting the library, the delegation also had a meeting with Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza at the green playground on the school roof to learn about refugees’ lives in Gaza and the impact Germany’s support has had on the ground.
The Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, Thomas White, said, “Germany is one of UNRWA’s most reliable and long-standing partners, especially in Gaza, where the majority of German funds are invested. German support has enabled UNRWA to continue to provide high quality education to about 290,000 students, sustainably rehabilitate UNRWA health centers to deliver primary health care to over 1.2 million Palestine refugees in Gaza and improve water and sanitation services to Palestine refugees living in Gaza. Girls’ education – as exemplified by the confident female students we spoke to – is a priority for both UNRWA and Germany.”
Germany generously contributed over EUR 180 million to UNRWA operations in 2022 to protect and enhance human rights of Palestine refugees across the region.
UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.
UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.
UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.