UNRWA and British Council sign landmark cooperation agreement to support Palestine refugee students


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the British Council cemented their longstanding partnerships through a cooperation agreement signed in Amman today. The agreement, signed between the Chief Executive of the British Council, Scott McDonald, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, is an acknowledgement of a decade-long partnership that helps bolster the Agency’s education programme to the benefit of over half a million Palestine refugee students in the region.

“In the last two years, 80 UNRWA schools were winners of the British Council’s International School Award and many more schools before that,” said Philippe Lazzarini. “The Agency is innately proud of its students and teaching staff across the region, whose talent, skills and critical thinking can greatly benefit from this cooperation. As educators worldwide discuss the benefits and challenges of online learning, UNRWA is pioneering a digital learning programme that will protect students from disruptions in case of crises. Lessons learnt from conflicts and COVID-19 closures helped shape the Agency’s approach.”

The UNRWA-British Council agreement includes the Global Schools Programme, which helps build the capacity of teachers and connects local issues to global ones, including climate change, gender equality, and the use of information technology in education. The agreement provides an opportunity to expand the Agency’s English-language programme in schools in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Scott McDonald, Chief Executive British Council, said: “This long-standing partnership has been imperative in creating educational and professional development opportunities for young people. In a fast-changing world, it is essential to equip and provide access to develop, grow and adapt. I am certain that this synergy between our organisations will foster new development and excellence in the English language, help tackle challenges and build the capacity of teachers and young people, reiterating our commitment to building connections, understanding and trust between people of the UK and countries in the Levant.”

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