Swiss government helps UNRWA improve water supply in Palestinian camps in Lebanon<font color=blue></font>

04 December 2012

4 December 2012

Beirut

Palestine refugees residing in Beirut camps will finally have access to safe drinking water, thanks to a new project for the improvement of camp water supply networks funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The project aims to ensure a healthier life for Palestine refugees in the three camps of Shatila, Burj Barajneh and Mar Elias by preventing and controlling diseases through the provision of clean water supply networks and access to safe drinking water.

A ground-breaking ceremony held yesterday across Shatila, Burj Barajneh and Mar Elias camps was attended by the Deputy Swiss Head of Mission Boris Richard, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Ann Dismorr, Palestine’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour and representatives of the Palestinian community.

Richard said, “Switzerland is committed to ensure 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 impact positively the daily lives of the communities and bring hope for a better future. ”

Dismorr thanked the Swiss government for the support:  “We are very thankful for the continued and generous support we receive from SDC.

“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 project of USD 2.62 million that will be implemented by UNRWA in seven Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon,  namely Shatila, Burj el-Barajneh, Mar Elias, Dbayeh, Beddawi, Mieh Mieh and Wavel. The 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 please contact:

Hoda Samra
UNRWA Public Information Officer in Lebanon
+961-70-010129
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, 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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