Saudi Arabia donates US$ 10 million for Nahr el-Bared

05 October 2011


Saudi Arabia has announced an additional donation of US$ 10 million for the next stage in the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon, which was destroyed in fighting in 2007.

Engineer Hassan Al Attas, director of the technical department at the Saudi Fund for Development, made the announcement at a ceremony to inaugurate completion of the first phase of construction on 28 September. The donation takes to US$ 35 million the total Saudi contribution to this large project, the biggest UNRWA has ever undertaken, which is estimated to cost US$ 328 million to complete.

The UNRWA Commissioner-General, Mr Filippo Grandi, said: "Following on the heels of other generous Saudi contributions for projects in Gaza, this important donation reaffirms the standing of the Kingdom as one of the Agency‘s top donors in 2011. It demonstrates the Kingdom‘s consistent support for UNRWA‘s work of easing the suffering of Palestinian refugees."

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

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

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