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 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

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