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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
28 October 2007

UNRWA partners with Bank Audi on Palestine refugee project
Bank Audi donates $25,000 for shelter rehabilitation in Husseinieh

Bank Audi has generously given UNRWA US $25,000 to be used for refugee shelter rehabilitation in Husseinieh area in Damascus. Bank Audi (Syria) and UNRWA held a signing ceremony today, 28 October, to mark their cooperation.

UNRWA will use the funds to rehabilitate ten shelters of refugee families living under extreme poverty. Most of the work will be carried out by the refugees themselves. Employees from Bank Audi will also volunteer in the project activities. Families who will benefit from this project have been identified as the most vulnerable of refugees and receive assistance through UNRWA’s Special Hardship Case programme. This initiative provides assistance to refugees with no breadwinners, in the form of food aid, cash assistance, and help with shelter repairs.

Husseinieh, a community of Palestine refugees, lies just outside of greater Damascus. Originally established to accommodate 2000 individuals, the population of this three square kilometer area has now grown to more than 30,000 Palestinian refugees. This overpopulation means that many families live in substandard and dilapidated housing.

Bank Audi (Syria) General Manager and Deputy Chairman of the Board, Bassel Hamwi said, “Having an active civic role in society is one of Bank Audi’s main values and the bank focuses on participating every year in charitable activities.” Hamwi highlighted, “We at Bank Audi are proud to announce that our donation programme for this year will be with UNRWA.”

Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, thanked Bank Audi Syria for its invaluable assistance to the Palestinian refugee community in Syria. “This generous donation testifies to Bank Audi’s support to the plight of Palestine refugees and helps build a culture of corporate responsibility,” Moumtzis said. “We are grateful to Bank Audi and feel proud of our partnership.”

Abu Mohammed, a resident of Husseinieh who will receive Audi Bank assistance, is grateful for the repairs. “Before we only had one room for sleeping, eating, and cooking,” he said. “This new room will make a difference in the life of my family”, Abu Mohammed added.

Bank Audi is a financial group that offers a broad range of commercial and retail products and services. The Bank has eight branches in Syria. Four of them are in Damascus and the rest are in Aleppo, Lattakia, Homs and Tartous.

In addition to shelter rehabilitation, UNRWA provides education, health, relief and social services as well as micro-credit and emergency assistance to a population of more than 4.5 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over than 440,000 registered Palestine refugees.

For information only - Not an official record
Hala Mukhles
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