SDC funds upgrading of water supply in Palestinian camps in Lebanon

04 December 2012

4 December 2012
Beirut

The ground-breaking ceremony for a new Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funded project was held today in Shatila, Bourj Barajneh and Mar Elias camps. The project will be implemented by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and focuses on the remediation and upgrading of camp water supply networks, providing Palestine refugees residing in Beirut camps with access to safe drinking water.

The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland Mr. Boris Richard, representatives from the SDC office in Lebanon, and Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Mrs. Ann Dismorr. Also present were the Palestine Ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour and a number of representatives of the Palestinian community.

Striving to ensure a healthier life for Palestine Refugees in the three camps, the project aims to prevent and control diseases through the provision of clean water supply networks and access to safe drinking water.

Marking the occasion, Richard said: “Switzerland is committed to ensuring that the dignity of Palestine refugees is preserved and that their needs are met. We are confident that the delivery and enhancement of water quality—the most basic of needs—in these seven camps will positively impact the daily lives of the communities and bring hope for a better future. ”

“We are very thankful for the continued and generous support from SDC,” said Dismorr. “This project will not only bring clean water to Palestine refugees but will also provide them with a healthier life.”

Today’s initiation of works is part of a holistic USD 2.62 million project of that will be implemented by UNRWA in seven Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon, including Shatila, Burj el-Barajneh, Mar Elias, Dbayeh, Beddawi, Mieh Mieh and Wavel camps. This intervention will enable UNRWA to improve water production at source, and train local community representatives on water management including operation and maintenance of the upgraded water plants.

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For further information about the project or UNRWA in Lebanon, please contact UNRWA Public information officer Hoda Samra,: +961-70-010129 fax: +961-1-840468 or by e-mail: h.samra@unrwa.org

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, microfinance and emergency assistance.

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, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

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.

For more information, please contact:

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$235 PROVIDES WATER TO HUNDREDS