Jerusalem, 16 December 2008
Fundraising efforts for the residents of Nahr el-Bared Camp in Nothern Lebanon received a boost last week after the Brazilian Government gave $200,000 to aid the camp reconstruction. The donation will go some way towards fulfilling UNRWA’s target of $282 million needed to rebuild the camp.
Approximately 27,000 Palestine Refugees were displaced form Nahr el-Bared camp and adjacent areas in northern Lebanon in mid-2007, as a result of the conflict between the Lebanese Armed forces and the Fatah Al Islam group. The camp was pounded with heavy artillery and aerial bombardments during a three month siege and an estimated 95% of all buildings were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
The reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp is the largest single project UNRWA has ever undertaken. In June 2008, UNRWA and the Lebanese government jointly appealed for $445 million for the reconstruction and recovery of the camp and its environs, $282 million of which is UNRWA’s part of the operation.
The first stages of major reconstruction and recover effort of Nahr el-Bared camp – to rebuild the camp and allow displaced refugees to return to their homes – are now underway. A phased approach to reconstruction is planned, through which families will begin to return to their homes inside the camp by the end of 2009. The reconstruction is due to be completed by mid 2011.
Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid. UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA’s operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors. The Agency’s regular budget for 2008-2009 is $1.1 billion, which covers the recurrent costs of the Agency’s education, health and relief and social services activities.
For more information please contact:
UNRWA Public Information Office in Beirut
Tel: 00961 1 840 461 ext 341