Press Release

Switzerland funds rapid skill courses for Palestine youth in Lebanon

Beirut 23 January 2008 – The Swiss Government donated $250,000 for rapid skill courses in order to help around 160 young Palestinian students find jobs in marketable fields on the local market or abroad. 75 students who benefited from these courses graduated today in the Siblin Training Center, in the presence of UNRWA’s Director of Lebanon Field Office and the Swiss Ambassador.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) introduced eight short-term courses in its vocational training center in Siblin to assist Palestine youth learn a marketable profession. Five out of these courses had started in March/April 2007 with an intake of 75 students and were completed in August 2007. Three other courses started in December 2007 with an intake of 70 students and are still ongoing.

UNRWA’s Placement and Career Guidance Office will assist those graduates to find employment in their respective fields of studies.

The aim of the courses is to enhance the employability of unskilled Palestinian manual workers through a variety of courses. The skills being taught include plumbing, carpentry, electrical fittings, painting, tile setting, finishing works and others. This will enable Palestinian manual workers to quickly meet the needs of the job market. More importantly, the Swiss-funded project gives the opportunity to Palestinian youth to become independent and self-reliable.

The Swiss Government has been a major donor of UNRWA’s General Fund and projects for many years. In addition to the UNRWA Emergency Appeal for Nahr-el-Bared, the Swiss Government is also funding projects on the employment of Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

For more information please contact UNRWA Public Information Office tel: 01-840462 ext 314. e-mail:h.samra@unrwa.org