United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and UNRWA Director in Lebanon Visit Ein El Hilweh Palestine Refugee Camp

26 July 2017
UNSCOL Special Coordinator to Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Claudio Cordone during their visit to Ein El Hilweh camp in Lebanon, 25 July 2017. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Firas Abo Aloul

Yesterday, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Sigrid Kaag and, the Director of UNRWA in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone, visited the Palestine refugee camp of Ein El Hilweh. They met with representatives and residents of the camp, including women and youth groups, and visited UNRWA installations and other areas in the camp.

Noting the difficult socioeconomic conditions in the camps and recurrent outbreaks of violence, Ms. Kaag and Mr. Cordone underlined the ongoing need for calm and stability allowing residents to go about their daily lives without fear of violence. “The important message of this visit is complete and continued support for the Palestine refugees under the aegis of UNRWA whilst they are residing in Lebanon,” Ms. Kaag said.

Mr. Cordone said, “UNRWA is committed to deliver its assistance and protection mandate for Palestine refugees to the best of its ability, including in particular by assisting the families most in need due to poverty and displacement by the recent fighting.”

Ms. Kaag and Mr. Cordone welcomed the measures taken by the Palestinian joint security forces and the cooperation with the Lebanese military and security agencies to improve the security situation in the camp.

More than 57,000 Palestine refugees are registered by UNRWA as living in Ein El Hilweh. 

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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