29 April 2013
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) announced today the commencement of a US$ 2 million project to rehabilitate the water supply and sewage system in Sector 3 of Ein El Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon.
The ceremony was attended by Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon H.E. Mr. Seiichi Otsuka, the Secretary General of Fateh in Lebanon Mr. Fathi Abu Ardat, Hamas Representative in Lebanon Mr. Ali Barakeh, and Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Mrs. Ann Dismorr, in addition to a number of high-ranking Lebanese and Palestinian officials.
On this occasion, Mr. Otsuka said: "This sewerage system to be rehabilitated in the camp will be connected through the Saida Water Treatment Site, which Japan previously financed to construct. We expect it will bring better living conditions for the residents to."
Thanking JICA and Japan for their continuous support to UNRWA, Ms. Dismorr said: “The rehabilitation of the water and sanitation infrastructure in Ein El Hilweh is a much awaited project for the camps’ residents. Thousands will benefit from this project and the environmental health improvements it will bring to the camp.”
Mr. Abu Ardat and Mr. Ali Barakeh both thanked Japan for its continuous support for Palestine refugees and said that improving living conditions for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon can only help them pursue their ultimate objective as enshrined in UN resolutions. They pledged that the Palestinians in Lebanon will be a factor of stability and will contribute to building civil peace.
This project is crucial for residents of Ein El Hilweh, as the camp’s water and sewerage network has been in dire need of rehabilitation for years. It aims to rehabilitate the infrastructure of the camp that was divided into four phases for funding reasons. The JICA project covers Package 3, located in the market area of Ein El Hilweh. This intervention will enable the Agency to implement new water distribution, sewerage and storm water drainage systems. The water supply system will be connected to existing boreholes and water wells located inside the camp. 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.
Since 2005, Japan has contributed a total of US$13.2m to UNRWA Lebanon including this current project.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 67.2 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724