Italy : The Consul General of Italy to Jerusalem, Mr. Fabio Sokolowicz, and the Director of External Relations and Communications of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Ms. Francoise Vanni, along with Ms. Cristina Natoli, Representative of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Office in Jerusalem, signed on 20 March 2018 a general agreement for an Italian contribution in support of UNRWA Vocational Training, Job Creation and Graduate Training Programmes, as well as gender equity within UNRWA schools in the West Bank in the total amount of EUR 2 million.
EUR 1.35 million of Italy’s contribution will go towards supporting the Agency’s initiatives to generate short-term employment opportunities and provide alternative tertiary educational opportunities through its two Technical and Vocational Education Training Centers in Gaza in 2018. It is hoped that this will generate a certain degree of economic activity in the Strip. In addition, the contribution will support the UNRWA Job Creation Programme and Graduate Training Programme in Gaza with the aim to generate short-term employment opportunities for poor and vulnerable Palestine refugees.
Italy will contribute up to EUR 650,000 in support of an UNRWA pilot project to promote gender equity within its schools in the West Bank. The recognition that the experiences and realities of Palestine refugees with respect to child protection and gender equity vary greatly is at the core of the UNRWA mission. In particular, the risks and threats that impede the realization of their rights are different between women, men, girls and boys. The fulfillment of the rights of women and girls is indivisible from the UNRWA mandate to serve Palestine refugees.
Italy has long been one of the Agency’s most reliable donors, contributing a total of EUR 91,762,678 since 2007. In 2017, the Italian Government contributed up to EUR 12,250,592 to support UNRWA in its five fields of operations and plans to continue its substantial contribution in 2018.
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