2 May 2013
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Federal Republic of Germany through the Federal Bank for Development (KFW) announced today the official launch of two German funded projects focused on water supply network improvement and shelter rehabilitation in Rashidieh Camp in southern Lebanon.
The announcement was made at a launching ceremony, attended by the Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lebanon Dr. Hanan Abdul Rida, the Representative of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee Lina Hamdan and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Ann Dismorr, in addition to a number of high ranking Lebanese and Palestinian officials.
The two projects—with a budget of around US$ 4.5 million—are part of the Regional Programme for the Improvement of the Living Conditions of Palestinian Refugees (REPAC), which was signed between Germany through its Federal Bank for Development (KFW) and UNRWA in May 2011.
“The REPAC programme will tremendously benefit the community in Rashidieh and address long awaited infrastructure and shelter rehabilitation needs," said Ann Dismorr, thanking the Government of Germany and the KFW for their continuous support to UNRWA. "The participatory approach is also encouraging and empowering for the community,” she added.
The shelter rehabilitation project will benefit at least 250 families, while the rehabilitation and upgrading of the water network will benefit all 30.000 camp residents. Both projects are to encourage self-help and utilize a participatory approach in formulation and implementation. To this end, a steering committee comprising the camp’s popular committee and members of the local community was formed.
Germany has contributed a total of US$ 53.9 million to UNRWA’s General Fund between 2007 and 2012, and US$ 12.9 million for UNRWA in Lebanon during the same period.
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UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 72 million.
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UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
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