Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:18 UK

One Laptop Per Child reaches Gaza Strip

Children and laptops in Gaza (picture courtesy of UNWRA)
The laptops are designed for use by children in the developing world

The UN in the Gaza Strip has begun distributing thousands of laptop computers to children in its schools.

The rugged laptops are made by the non-profit organisation One Laptop Per Child, which aims to give a computer to every child in the developing world.

One Laptop Per Child say computers are a good way of improving the education of children living in poverty.

Humanitarian conditions have deteriorated in the Gaza Strip in the last three years, the UN says.

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on Gaza, which was tightened in 2007 after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, and all but humanitarian supplies are prevented from entering.

Unrwa, the UN agency for refugees, began distributing 2,100 laptops on Thursday in Rafah, a town in the south of the strip.

This is part of a wider ambitions to distribute 500,000 laptops to children in Gaza by 2012.


One Laptop Per Child has built the energy efficient XO laptop especially for children in developing countries.

"The XO laptop has a special place in children's education in regions that are disrupted by ongoing violence," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the organisation.

"With the XO the children can continue to stay connected and gain the skills and knowledge required to participate fully and thrive in the 21st century - even when getting to school is impossible."

The UN agency which looks after Palestinian refugees, UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides housing, health services, education and emergency food supplies to more than four million refugees in five countries.

The computers are to be loaded with textbooks and teaching aids that cover the primary school curriculum, a statement from UNWRA said.

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