UNRWA hands construction of the Rafah camp library to private contractors – UNRWA press release

UNRWA has started constructing the largest library in Rafah camp, southern of Gaza

07 April 2016

To enhance literacy in the community, encourage critical thought and supplement the school curricula, the UNRWA Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Programme (ICIP) has handed over the construction project of a public library at Rafah Elementary Co-ed School, in southern Gaza, to private contractors on 22 November 2015.

The actual construction activities started in early December 2015 and the library is expected to be functional by September 2016. To date, 30 per cent of the construction works have been implemented.

The ongoing construction activities are expected to generate 9,000 man-days of temporary job opportunities in the local community.

The library will be built on an area of 150 square metres and will include large reading areas, a canteen, stores and an administration room.

The library services will not be limited to students and staff of the school only, but will also be open for the public after the school hours; this means that approximately100,000 Palestine refugees living in Rafah camp will have access to the library, providing them with opportunities for self-education and life-long learning.

The project is part of a generous donation from the Royal Charity Organization of Bahrain (RCO).

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, protection and microfinance .

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness

Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications


+972 (0)54 240 2659


+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha

Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson


+972 (0)54 216 8295


+972 (0)2 589 0724

Milina Shahin

Public Information Officer – Gaza Field Office


+972 599 609 485


+972 8 2887213


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