Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Accompanied by the Acting Director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for the Near East (UNRWA), Ms. Heli Uusikyla, the Special Coordinator met with camp representatives who briefed her on the socio-economic and security situation there. She also visited an UNRWA-managed health centre and school and a women's centre.
"During the visit, camp residents and officials briefed me on the challenges faced due to crowded living conditions, unemployment and poverty. The United Nations, through UNRWA, will continue to assist where it can and to seek critical support from donors. We hope new support will also be forthcoming at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference that is taking place today in Kuwait," Ms. Kaag said during her visit. There are some 55,500 Palestinian refugees in Ein El-Hilweh camp, in addition to over 6000 Palestinian Refugees from Syria. Noting the high demographic density, the Special Coordinator hoped more could be done to ensure efficient shelter rehabilitation inside the camp.
Ms. Kaag welcomed the role played by the joint security force in maintaining stability in the camp and urged that cooperation between Palestinian and Lebanese authorities continue to work to the benefit of both communities.
Today's visit was the first by the Special Coordinator to Ein El-Hilweh, the largest of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.