Turkey donates USD 250,000 for Nahr el-Bared reconstruction

03 February 2012

3 February 2012
Beirut, Lebanon

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced today a new donation of USD 250,000 from Turkey toward the Restoring Dignity fundraising appeal for Lebanon.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi launched the appeal on 28 September 2011, requesting approximately USD 147 million over a five-year period, until 2016.

The appeal aims to carry out relief and recovery activities for vulnerable Palestine refugees throughout Lebanon, and is meant to raise funds for special projects in addition to regular funding to sustain the Agency’s core programmes, such as education, health, and poverty alleviation.

In order to fund its activities in 2012, UNRWA requires USD 41 million to support Palestine refugees in Lebanon. This figure includes funds needed for the relief activities of Nahr el-Bared Camp, which amount to USD 15.7 million.

While some pledges have already been received, the Agency remains in urgent need of USD 10 million for the first half of 2012.

UNRWA continues to seek additional funding to implement projects in the areas of infrastructure, health care, education, employment, and relief services for all Palestine refugees living in camps throughout Lebanon.

“I would like to thank Turkey for being a regular and generous contributor to the Nahr el-Bared relief programme,” said Salvatore Lombardo, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon. “This contribution is most appreciated, as it comes at a time when funding for the programme is decreasing.”

In the aftermath of the conflict in Nahr el-Bared, Turkey responded generously to the humanitarian emergency with a contribution of USD 1,900,729 for relief and reconstruction activities as well as in-kind food assistance. Turkey also contributed USD 1 million toward the Agency’s general fund in 2011.

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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