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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
7 November 2007
Japanese Director of Humanitarian Division, eye-witness to the situation in the Nahr El Bared camp
“The government of Japan remains committed to supporting UNRWA”
Beirut, 7 November 2007:
The Japanese Director of Humanitarian Assistance Division from the International Cooperation Bureau at the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms Asako Okai visited North Lebanon on 2 November, accompanied by senior staff from the Japanese Embassy in Beirut and UNRWA. Ms. Okai was briefed by UNRWA officials about the current situation of the displaced and the funding of UNRWA’s emergency appeal.
Ms. Okai then toured the Nahr El Bared camp and spoke to the returnees. At the end of her tour Ms Okai said: “The severity of the damage and destruction is striking throughout the town. The 30,000 displaced people require urgent help. At the same time, I realized that the ongoing temporary relief activities have to take into account the fact that it will take at least a few years before complete reconstruction can take place. The government of Japan remains committed to supporting UNRWA. We urge the entire international community to extend the same support”.
Ms. Okai visited also the temporary accommodation site at the southern entrance of Nahr El Bared where so far 90 families have been re-housed. Ms. Okai also visited displacement centres, host families and the construction site of prefabricated schools in Beddawi camp.
The Japanese Government has been a major donor to UNRWA’s projects and General Fund for many years. In addition to this, the Japanese Government has lately contributed USD 700,000 to the UNRWA Flash Appeal in early June 2007, to cover the immediate needs of the people affected by the Nahr El Bared conflict. The funds were used for the provision of temporary accommodation and for the provision of shelter supplies and hygiene kits.
In September 2007 UNRWA launched its one-year emergency appeal for USD 55 million to cover the emergency needs of the displaced. So far, the appeal has been half funded. UNRWA continues to provide relief, education and health services to Palestine refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza.
Not an official document
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