Palestine Liberation Organization donates US$2m for Nahr el-Bared reconstruction

23 November 2010

23 November 2010
Beirut

Reconstruction at Nahr el-BaredThe Palestine Liberation Organization announced a new donation of $2 million for the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp in north Lebanon.

On this occasion, PLO representative in Lebanon, Dr Abdallah Abdallah, said: "This donation reflects our commitment to our people in Nahr el-Bared and to their needs. It also demonstrates the support of the PLO and its President Mahmoud Abbas to the return of Nahr el-Bared displaced to their reconstructed homes as a first step towards their return to their free and sovereign country Palestine."

Thanking the PLO and President Abbas for their generous support to UNRWA and to Palestine refugees, the Director of UNRWA Affairs Lebanon, Salvatore Lombardo, said: “I am extremely grateful to the PLO for contributing to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared. This is a further contribution to stability for Palestinians and the Lebanese alike, and to the reconstruction itself for which additional financial support is vital."

With this donation, the Palestinian Authority will have made the first contribution of a $10 million  pledged for Nahr el-Bared in Vienna in 2008. Currently US$208m are still required to complete the reconstruction of the camp of which US$10 million is still needed for Package 3.

The destruction of Nahr el-Bared Camp in the conflict in 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 has started in November 2009, with construction under way 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.

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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$ 56 million.

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