UAE Red Crescent visited Palestinian camps in Lebanon

13 October 2011

13 October  2011

A delegation from the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society (UAERC) visited Palestinian camps in Lebanon accompanied by UNRWA officials. The delegation includes Mr Ahmed Al Mazroui, Chairman of the UAERC, Mr Omran Matar Treim, Member of the UAERC board, and Mr Abdel Karim Bensiali. On 13 October, the group visited Burj Shemali camp in Tyre and Burj Barajneh camp in Beirut. This was an occasion for them to see some houses that were rehabilitated in Burj Shemali camp thanks to a generous donation of US$ 5 million from the UAERC. A total of 348 shelters were either rehabilitated or reconstructed thanks to the UAERC’s donation.

After his visit to the camp, Mr Ahmad Mazroui thanked UNRWA and all those who contributed and supervised the rehabilitation works. He added: “Palestinians are our brothers. Assisting them is one of the priorities of the UAERC. I saw that people were very happy with their newly rehabilitated homes. When the home environment is sound, all the family will be psychologically and socially sound. This project is only the first step that will be followed by many others to contribute to the social development of our Palestinian brothers.”
Thanking the UAERC for its contributions, Mr Salvatore Lombardo, director of UNRWA in Lebanon, said: “The UAERC is one of our key Arab donors. We are extremely grateful for their funding of the rehabilitation project in Burj Shemali camp, which now allows many refugee families to live in a decent and healthy environment. Shelter rehabilitation in all camps remains one of the main priorities for the refugees and UNRWA. We look forward to continuing working with the UAERC on further shelter rehabilitation and thus improving the refugees’ difficult living conditions.”
Tomorrow (14 October), the delegation will visit Nahr el-Bared camp and will be briefed about the progress of the camp’s ongoing reconstruction. The delegation will also visit temporary shelters in the adjacent area, which were set up in 2009 thanks to a US$ 1 million donation by the UAERC.

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Tel: 01-840462 ext 314.

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.

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