Japan funds community projects for Palestine refugees
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the Embassy of Japan in Israel today signed an agreement on three projects to be funded by Japan’s “Grassroots” project. This will enable UNRWA to construct a physiotherapy clinic and reconstruct two sanitation offices in the middle camps area of the Gaza Strip.
The Physiotherapy Clinic, which is planned for the Bureij refugee camp, will benefit not only 55,000 refugee residents of the Bureij and the neighbouring Maghazi camp, but also those living in surrounding areas. The strife that broke out in September 2000 has dramatically increased medical needs, especially demand for physiotherapy treatment. The existing clinic consists of a small prefabricated room with inadequate ventilation and lighting where treatments rely on old medical equipment. The US$50,000 donation from the Embassy of Japan’s “Grassroots” project, will enable UNRWA to construct a much larger clinic that is adequately ventilated and lit.
The Grassroots project will also enable UNRWA to reconstruct two sanitation offices in the Bureij and Nuseirat refugee camps. At present, both offices are dilapidated, unsafe and inadequate as working environments. Staff in these offices supervise the environmental health of around 100,000 refugees in both camps. The reconstruction of the sanitation offices will allow for the safe storage of disinfectants, improve the efficiency of the environmental health system and lead to an improvement in the environment for camp residents.
These projects will directly assist refugees by improving UNRWA’s health and environmental health provision and will additionally create approximately 2,750 man-days of employment in an area of extremely high unemployment.
These projects are just the latest in a long history of support for Palestine refugees by the Government of Japan which has provided food aid and donations to UNRWA’s General Fund and Emergency Appeals for many years.