European Union Donates EUR 12 Million to the UNRWA Nahr el-Bared Camp Reconstruction Effort
06 October 2016
The European Union (EU) has allocated EUR 12 million in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) efforts for the reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared Camp (NBC) in Lebanon. These funds come in addition to the EUR 4 million previously donated by the European Union to contribute to rebuilding the NBC.
The EUR 12 million contribution will go to support the rehousing of approximately 400 families and 87 retail units. It builds on the EU support to date to rehouse 350 families and build 68 retail units, enabling the community of NBC to revitalize their economic and social life.
"I am happy to announce a new EUR 12 million EU contribution to the NBC reconstruction effort. We hope that this support will contribute to settle grievances surrounding the 2007 conflict and to provide better protection, shelter and dignity to the lives of many Palestinian refugees in this country," Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, said.
Almost half of the reconstruction of the camp has been completed to date with support from a wide range of international donors. Given current funding to the Nahr-el Bared Appeal, it is envisaged that approximately 2,670 families (11,062 people) will return to their homes by mid-2017.
“We are truly grateful for this latest contribution from the European Union and for our continued partnership and cooperation,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, as he appealed to the international community to make a final commitment and see this project through to its completion. “We must take the opportunity to finalize the reconstruction of NBC; otherwise, we risk alienating the remaining displaced refugees, abandoning them to despair and the effects of frustration that comes with it.”
UNRWA, the Lebanese government and donors, including the European Union, aim to ensure the full reconstruction of NBC. With recent contributions, 72 per cent of those originally displaced will be able to return to the camp. UNRWA is still appealing for US$ 105.9 million to complete the remaining part of the reconstruction.
EU and UNRWA: Together for Palestine Refugees
Since 1971, the European Union and UNRWA have maintained a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East. Today, the European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. This reliable and predictable support from the European Union enables UNRWA to provide daily quality education for roughly half a million children and primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. The partnership between the European Union and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestine refugees to be better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, thus contributing to the development of the entire region.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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