- Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 01:52
On Monday, 13th August, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), responsible for the welfare of Palestine refugees, joined the UN family in celebrating International Youth Day.
Below are some facts defined by the UNRWA, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), and the World Bank about young Palestine refugees, a rapidly growing population served by the Agency's human development and humanitarian relief programs in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt – Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem).*
* More than half of all Palestine refugees are under 25, making this refugee community a notably young one.
* By the year 2020, the number of Palestine refugees aged between 15 and 30 (defined by UNRWA as youth) will top 1.5 million.
* Last year in the oPt, refugee youth unemployment grew by 8.4 percent: youth unemployment in Gaza currently stands among the highest in the world.
* In Lebanon, approximately 18 per cent of the 120,000 young Palestinian refugees in the country will drop out of school early (21.7 per cent male, 14.8 per cent female).
* Every day, 486,754 students enter the doors of UNRWA's 699 schools throughout the Middle East. The proportion of girls and boys is equal.
* In the oPt, the young refugees served by UNRWA enjoy better rates of literacy than their non-refugee counterparts, but also greater unemployment (literacy 95.6 per cent compared to 95.1 per cent, unemployment 26 per cent compared to 18 per cent)
* A total of 6,652 young people are enrolled in UNRWA's vocational training centres in the oPt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
* Over the past 20 years, UNRWA has financed 67,000 loans for young Palestinian refugees, helping them to start their own businesses.
Find out more about UNRWA’s commitments to young Palestine refugees (pdf):http://tinyurl.com/dyr9np7
Read testimonies by young Palestine refugees addressing world leaders:http://tinyurl.com/bp8aju2
Watch a video about UNRWA’s young women’s leadership programme in Gaza:http://youtu.be/1S7063jJig0
View a map of the UN’s activities with young people around the world on International Youth Day: http://tinyurl.com/brwze5u
**UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight.
UNRWA's services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.