JICA and Lebanon sign US$ 2 million project for rehabilitation of infrastructure in Ein El Hillweh

18 November 2011


The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of understanding today with the government of Lebanon formalising Lebanon’s support to a US$ 2 million project to rehabilitate part of the infrastructure in Ein El Hillweh camp in south Lebanon.

UNRWA will act as an executing agency for this project, which is crucial as the Ein El Hilweh camp is in dire need of rehabilitation of its network.

The director of UNRWA affairs in Lebanon, Salvatore Lombardo, said: “I would like to thank JICA for this contribution. It helps launch the first phase of long-awaited infrastructure rehabilitation in the camp. This is an important project for the people in Ein El Hillweh and for Lebanon.”

The Director General of JICA, Junichi Yamada, stated: "We are aware that the infrastructure rehabilitation of Ein El Hillweh camp is a vital need. We are very pleased to extend this important project in partnership with the Lebanese government and UNRWA. We hope our intervention contributes to improving the camp living conditions and also encourages more assistance from other donors."

This US$ 2 million intervention will enable UNRWA to implement new water distribution, sewerage and storm water drainage systems. For funding reasons, the camp has been divided into four phases. The present proposal covers Phase 3, located in the market area of Ein El Hillweh. This project will benefit nearly 15,000 Palestine refugees whose health conditions will substantially improve through the provision of water and appropriate sewage and drainage systems. The implementation of the project is likely to start in early spring 2012.

While JICA contributes some volunteers and provides technical assistance in Palestine refugee camps across UNRWA‘s areas of operation, this agreement represents the first direct contribution of JICA to a Palestine refugee camp in Lebanon.

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 US$ 100 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
+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