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Germany contributes 28m euros to support digital transformation of UNRWA programmes

By JT - Aug 11,2022 - Last updated at Aug 11,2022

From left: Michele Diekmann, KfW Head of Division-Crisis Prevention and Response, Middle East; Oliver Owcza, Head of the German Representative Office in Ramallah; and Karim Amer, UNRWA Director of Partnerships on July 22, at the UNRWA Office in East Jerusalem (Photo courtesy of UNRWA)

AMMAN — On July 22 and August 11, respectively, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed two financing agreements for a total amount of 28 million euros provided by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank.

Thirteen million euros is provided to support the digitalisation of the UNRWA health and education programmes to improve access, quality and a more efficient delivery of health and education services to Palestinian refugees, according to a statement from the UN agency. 

The project will fund the implementation of a new health management information system and the development of an agency-wide online learning management system for basic education students. Furthermore, it will contribute to expanding Internet access for Palestine refugee students in UNRWA schools in Jordan and Gaza, according to the statement.

In addition, 15 million euros is provided in support of the construction, extension and rehabilitation of social, economic and environmental infrastructure in Khan Younis Camp and Deir El Balah camps in the Gaza Strip, as well as in Jerash and Marka camps in Jordan.  

In Gaza, this phase of the Regional Programme for Improving the Living Conditions of Palestine Refugees in Camps (REPAC) will see the construction of new buildings to re-house families to improve their living conditions, reduce crowdedness and allow for road upgrades and the development of green and recreational spaces as were prioritised during participatory urban planning processes with the respective camp communities. In Jordan, several camp improvement interventions will be implemented in line with community priorities, in addition to the construction and rehabilitation of two UNRWA schools. 

On the singing of the two agreements, Anne-Sophie Beckedorf, acting Head of the German Representative Office in Ramallah, said: “Germany continues its support for Palestine refugees and remains a reliable partner for UNRWA. UNRWA services provide an essential lifeline for vulnerable Palestinians and are therefore essential to maintain the stability in the region.”

“Germany has been one of UNRWA’s most reliable and generous partners for many years, with KfW as implementing partner, especially in the areas of camp improvement and infrastructure works which have a profound and sustainable impact on Palestine refugee communities,” said Karim Amer, UNRWA Director of Partnerships.

“The new digitalisation project will support the development of online health management and learning systems and is a significant component of the agency’s overall digitalisation strategy and an important step in the direction of future collaboration between UNRWA and Germany,” Amer added.  

Germany is the second-largest bilateral donor to UNRWA, having contributed 150 million euros in 2021. The enduring support of Germany helps UNRWA to continue to provide its essential services to Palestine refugees and to improve their living conditions, concluded the statement.

 

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