Japan donates US$ 2.4 million to Nahr el-Bared Camp reconstruction

24 March 2011


The Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon, H.E. Koichi Kawakami, and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Salvatore Lombardo, signed today an exchange of notes formalizing a ¥201 million (US$ 2.4 million) donation to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared Palestine refugee camp in north Lebanon.

This contribution will be earmarked to the reconstruction of Package 3, which includes the main commercial street and as such is a key component of the Nahr el-Bared camp reconstruction.

Currently US$ 207m are still required to complete the reconstruction of the camp of which US$ 7.7 million are still needed for Package 3 only.

The destruction of Nahr el-Bared camp in the conflict of 2007, and the subsequent 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. Thanks to donor contributions since 2007, UNRWA has been able to meet the most basic needs of the displaced refugees.

The physical reconstruction of the camp started in November 2009, with construction underway for two packages out of eight, and three of six UNRWA schools. Nevertheless, the long-term recovery of the camp and its residents is by no means assured, and UNRWA’s support to the displaced refugees continues to be vital.

In the aftermath of the NBC conflict, Japan responded very generously to the humanitarian emergency, by contributing a total of US$ 6,531,257 to UNRWA for Nahr el-Bared relief assistance under the Flash Appeal and Emergency Appeal.

This contribution is even more commendable after the terrible earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan recently, causing wide scale destruction and lots of human suffering.

Background Information

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 more than US$ 106  million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724