UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov yesterday revealed that the UN is preparing work projects to create 10,000 job opportunities in the Gaza Strip.
During his participation in the Palestine Youth Summit 2030 – which was held simultaneously in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank – Mladenov said: "We are working on specific projects aiming to help improve the deteriorating situation related to the siege in the Gaza Strip," Felesteen newspaper reported.
Mladenov pointed out that the projects, which are being prepared in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Bank, would be announced soon.
The UN envoy stated that the work opportunities would target youth who hold high qualifications, pointing to the high rate of higher education in Gaza and the rate of youth unemployment.
About the recent situation in Gaza, Mladenov said: "Every single day, with my colleagues, I deal with all issues related to lifting the pressure and siege on the Gaza Strip."
He continued: "Unfortunately, I do not have a magic stick. What I am trying to do at the moment is to persuade all the parties to reverse back from the edge of the abyss and not to escalate the situation more in Gaza. Unfortunately, we are close to a war."
About the Youth Summit, he said: "Gaza is the soul of Palestine. If we separate the soul from the body, we will lose both of them. Youths are the blood who runs in the veins of Palestine. We, in the UN, have a great responsibility for preserving the body, the soul and the blood."
He continued: "We will never give up hope and we will never give up our responsibilities until we reach Palestinian unity and an independent state. Despite all of the political and economic hardships, we will not stop [our] hard work."
The UN official concluded that Palestinian youths deserve a better life: "In Gaza, there are 2 million Palestinians who lived four crises and wars in 10 years, the occupation and the siege […] This must not continue. We want to help Gaza residents to have a new future."