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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
31 October 2010
2011 Nahr el-Bared Camp
Relief and Recovery Needs
More than three years and still
displaced: Urgent Assistance
for Palestine Refugees in
Rationale for NBC Relief and Recovery Needs in 2011
The destruction of Nahr el
Bared Camp (NBC) during the conflict in 2007 and the resultant displacement of some 27,000 Palestine refugees from the camp and its adjacent areas created a humanitarian crisis, the effects of which are still being felt three years on. With generous support from donors since 2007, UNRWA has been able to meet the most basic needs of the displaced refugees. Nevertheless, the long
term recovery of the camp and its residents is still dependent on the pace of reconstruction, and UNRWA’s support to the displaced refugees continues to be vital during this interim period. The Agency therefore has no option but to provide relief and recovery assistance to the displaced refugees through 2011 and beyond, while exerting every effort to accelerate the camp’s reconstruction.
The displacement of the majority of Palestine refugees from their original homes in NBC and its adjacent areas continues to present a serious humanitarian challenge. This is compounded by the slow rate of economic recovery of the NBC adjacent areas, hampered by restrictions on movement imposed by the Lebanese Armed Forces. The refugees displaced from NBC still live under extremely difficult and stressful conditions, affecting almost all aspects of their lives.
Since 2007, UNRWA’s efforts to provide assistance to the displaced refugees in the areas of shelter, food security, water and sanitation, health, and education have served as a safety net to ensure that all displaced refugees can meet their basic critical needs. Alongside these relief efforts, UNRWA has also undertaken extensive economic recovery initiatives through business reactivation grants, capacity development, employment service centres, vocational training and apprenticeships.
UNRWA Lebanon Field Office | October 2010
In 2010, UNRWA sought US $16.3 million to deliver core relief and recovery activities. Due to escalating health expenditures, this amount has been revised to $17.9 million. This means that UNRWA still requires an additional $1.3 million to cover 2010 expenses.
In 2011, UNRWA’s budget for its relief and recovery operations is estimated to be $18.51 million. In total, the Agency is therefore seeking donors’ support amounting to $19.81 million, which will cover expenses until the end of 2011.
As of October 2010, out of the eight construction packages in NBC, the Agency has started the reconstruction of Package 1 and the initial groundwork for part of Package 2. By the end of 2010, families will start returning to their reconstructed homes in Package 1, with the majority of families from Packages 1 and 2 moving back to their rebuilt residences by the end of 2011. The major constraint to the reconstruction of the camp is the lack of funding. To date, only 36% of the donations required have been secured, with an urgent need for $12 million to start works in Package 3 and $34.1 million for Package 4. The reconstruction of the first three school buildings in the UNRWA Compound, adjacent to NBC, is progressing well. The schools should be ready for the start of the 2011
2012 scholastic year, allowing nearly 3,000 primary and secondary school students to relocate from overcrowded temporary school buildings in Beddawi and the NBC Adjacent Areas currently operating on a double
shift basis. The health centre remains to be funded, as do the remaining three school buildings and the NGO compound.
As the main service provider mandated by the international community to support Palestine refugees, UNRWA is obliged to continue providing relief support to the displaced families of NBC until the reconstruction of the camp is completed. Whilst this provision will decrease as families are rehoused, the timeframe for the progressive reduction of this relief support will inevitably be conditional on the progress of the reconstruction itself. This, in turn, depends largely on the availability of funding, as well as on UNRWA’s continued progress in overcoming the complex administrative, logistical and political hurdles that it has faced until now.
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