The US provides a second contribution to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp and the relief of its people

20 July 2009

20 July 2009

The United States Government announced today a new donation of $30 million to the Nahr el-Bared camp project in North Lebanon. The announcement was made by US Ambassador, Michele Sison at a ceremony held at UNRWA Lebanon Field Office in Beirut.

The amount of $25 million will be allocated towards the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp and $5 million towards the Relief and Early Recovery Appeal (RERA), which allows UNRWA to continue providing essential humanitarian assistance to the displaced refugees until they can return to the reconstructed camp.

The US has always been a generous supporter of UNRWA and this particular donation will result in a significant improvement to the lives of Nahr el-Bared families. The $25 million earmarked for the reconstruction means that UNRWA now has enough funding to complete the construction of package 2 and two thirds of package 3 of Nahr el-Bared camp. Furthermore, thanks to the $5 million earmarked for the RERA, UNRWA will be able to continue to provide health, relief, housing and education services to the displaced refugees from Nahr el-Bared.

With this donation, the US will have contributed $71.8 million since the Nahr el-Bared crisis broke out in 2007. The US contributed $3.5 million to UN´s initial Flash Appeal, and was the first donor country to respond to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for North Lebanon with a pledge of $10 million. In 2008 the US continued its support for Palestine refugees in Lebanon by donating to UNRWA $23.5 million to the Reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared and $4.31 million to the RERA. In addition, the US has provided over $500,000 for the construction and equipping of a temporary health centre in the NBC adjacent area.

With this new donation, the US will have donated $186 million to the Agency as a whole in 2009, a most appreciated contribution.


Not an official document
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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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