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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
11 December 2008
UNRWA Commissioner-General appeals for intensified efforts to support Relief and Reconstruction activities for Nahr El Bared
Beirut, 11 December 2008:
The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Karen AbuZayd, who has just completed a three days mission in Lebanon, including a visit to Nahr el-Bared camp, appealed to donors and the Lebanese government to intensify efforts to secure additional donations for relief activities and the reconstruction of the camp.
UNRWA has recently received a number of contributions from donors for its Relief and Early Recovery Appeal (RERA) that will enable it to cater for the critical needs of the displaced refugees of Nahr el-Bared camp until early 2009. Thanks to generous donations from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) (1 million USD), Italy (400,000 Euro), Norway (453,000 USD), Germany (350,000 Euro), the Balearic Islands (180,000 Euro), and ECHO (1.5 million Euro), a total of 8.9 million USD have been pledged to date, including an earlier contribution of 4.3 million USD by the USA, who was the first donor government to pledge on the day of the RERA launch on 11 September.
These new donations will enable the Agency to provide the displaced families with food assistance and rental subsidies and install solar panels on the temporary shelters. Meanwhile, UNRWA is receiving very positive signs from other Arab and Western donors regarding additional contributions. If these are confirmed, more temporary shelters will be constructed and rental subsidies for displaced families living in rented accommodation will be covered for a longer period.
However, the Agency is still faced with a major financial shortfall for the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp, which remains largely under-funded. Out of 282 million USD required by UNRWA for the reconstruction of the camp and the rehabilitation of Beddawi camp, 32.1 million USD have been pledged to date, of which 27.1 USD have been received. This amount has allowed the Agency to begin the rubble removal and de-mining operations, to complete the design of construction package one in the first of eight sectors, and will also cover the construction costs for package one and part of package two