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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
22 February 2006

Press release

British Donation Supports “Governance and Empowerment
of Palestinian Refugees”

Beirut 22 February 2006 – The British Embassy has donated £197,800 (US$356,000) towards a project entitled “Governance and Empowerment of Palestinian Refugees”, commencing winter 2006 and continuing through 2009.

The project was launched by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Karen AbuZayd, and the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. James Watt, on 22 February. Also in attendance were the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Richard Cook, and representatives of the NGOs and community-based organizations participating in the project.

UNRWA will support this initiative through its role as a catalyst, helping to build the capacity of NGOs and community-based organizations in the area of good governance.

The project, to be implemented in the camps of Beddawi (north Lebanon) and Bourj El-Barajneh (Beirut), will establish a forum for community service providers to systematically coordinate and share resources. By developing a service delivery system that is more efficient and based on community ownership, development efforts in the camps will become more democratic, also empowering women to take part in the decision-making process.

In parallel, a self-sustaining service will be introduced in the two camps, to assist skilled refugees to find employment, thus enabling them to become economically independent and less reliant on external sources of support.

The project is expected to provide about 900 young Palestinians, the majority women, with the opportunity to learn a skill that will qualify them to be self-employed or to find employment in a competitive market, both inside and outside Lebanon.

The United Kingdom has always been supportive of UNRWA and the Palestine refugee cause. It is one of UNRWA’s major donors, having donated 29 million dollars to the General Fund, the Emergency Appeal, and the Projects budget in 2005.

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