UNRWA relaunches IT Service Centre in Gaza

Palestinian children fly kites at a school belonging to UNRWA in Gaza City (AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  March 28, 2022

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) celebrated on Sunday the relaunch of its IT Service Centre at its newly modernized field office in the Gaza Strip. The ceremony was attended by UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth and other senior officials, including the Director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, Thomas White.

“In line with the Agency’s modernization and innovation strategy, the newly re-opened centre features cutting edge IT services and provides efficient IT solutions across the Agency’s five fields of operations, and to UN agencies worldwide,” said UNRWA. “Such services include web and mobile application development, software quality assurance, UI/UX design, cyber security, cloud computing, data science, project management and a service desk.”

According to Stenseth, “The UNRWA  IT Service Centre has become the largest IT employer in Gaza, thus contributing to the livelihood opportunities in the Gaza Strip.” The former Norwegian Ambassador to Lebanon added that the establishment of the Service Centre is very much in line with the Agency’s strategic goal to modernize and digitally transform its services, business processes and information management systems. “It is very exciting to think of this IT centre as a small Silicon Valley in Gaza.”

UNRWA’s Chief Information Officer and Director of the Information Management and Technology Department, Kaan Cetinturk, pointed out that Gaza is full of skilled, educated and passionate IT graduates. “This Service Centre has created a huge opportunity to tap into the potential of youth in Gaza and strengthen their capabilities.” By investing in the human capital of Palestine refugees, he added, UNRWA contributes actively to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “We need support from all our donors and the private sector to be part of this successful journey.”

Since its initial establishment in 2020, the Centre has grown so much that today it employs 120 Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.