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Tánaiste announces new scholarships for Palestinian students

Diplomatic Relations, Funding, International relations, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2018


Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D. has announced that Ireland is to significantly increase the number of scholarships offered to Palestinian students over the next five years.

The Tánaiste announced an immediate increase of €200,000 in 2018 funding available for Palestinian students seeking third level and professional training opportunities in Ireland.

The Tánaiste indicated that the Government intends to provide significant further increases in scholarship funding for Palestinian students over the 2019-2022 period.

“For the first time, funding is being ring-fenced to create further opportunities for Palestinian students to undertake Masters levels courses in our Higher Education Institutes in Ireland. This is a first step towards a large-scale scholarship programme for Palestinian students, to be expanded over the next five years. Ireland has long been a strong supporter of the development of modern and quality education for all Palestinians in conjunction with our partners, the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, and this scholarship programme will be a further tangible expression of that support.”

The scholarship programme will focus on courses which will enhance labour market skills in areas where there are identified deficits. The programme will be accessible to groups across Palestinian society; enhancing opportunities for women and providing opportunities to other previously under-represented groups.

Palestinian Minister for Education and Higher Education, Sabri Saidam, welcomed the announcement.

“Ireland has today consolidated its support to the Palestinian people in their march towards improving the quality of education and realising the vision of the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education which aims to create a knowledge productive Palestine capable of producing a sustainable economy.”



Notes for Editors:

• Ireland’s funding to the Palestinian people has traditionally had a strong focus on the education sector which is crucial to Palestine’s long-term economic viability. Funding is provided to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in support of their education programmes.

• Support to the Palestinian Authority’s Education Development Strategic Plan is provided through a Joint Financing Arrangement along with other donors. €2.35 million was provided in 2017, bringing Ireland’s total contribution since the establishment of the Joint Financing Arrangement to €13.35 million.

• Ireland also provides annual funding of €4 million to UNRWA’s Programme Budget, which provides a full range of social services including health and education services, to Palestine refugees across its five areas of operation. Approximately 54% of the Programme Budget is disbursed on UNRWA’s education programme.

• Ireland’s total funding to the Palestinian people in 2017 amounted to €11.19 million. This funding addresses both humanitarian and development needs, providing emergency assistance to the most vulnerable while also supporting the Palestinian Authority in public service delivery and civil society organisations in advocating for human rights.

• Furthermore, there is an existing Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme, which is part of Ireland’s broad programme of support to capacity building in Partner countries. €2 million has been made available for this programme in 2018. The programme aims to address capacity deficits that hinder the attainment of long-term development goals through the training and development of key individuals. Palestinian students can also apply under Irish Aid’s Fellowship Training Programme for a scholarship to study in Ireland or in-region.