European Union Supports UNRWA Humanitarian Response in Lebanon with over US$ 300,000

19 February 2018

The Head of the European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) in Lebanon, Massimiliano Mangia, and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone, announced that the European Commission has contributed over US$ 327,000 in support of the Agency’s Ein El Hilweh humanitarian response. The pledge was made by the EU humanitarian aid department in 2017 following armed clashes in the camp.  

The contribution has gone towards the Agency’s humanitarian response to Ein El Hilweh camp following the clashes that took place in August 2017 and has allowed UNRWA to provide emergency cash assistance to more than 404 families displaced from the Tireh sector of Ein El Hilweh. These families were some of the most affected by the clashes that took place in April and August 2017.

UNRWA has been coordinating the humanitarian emergency response with partners, including the European Union and the Japanese Government, in order to respond to the immediate needs of families affected by the violence.

Mr Cordone said: “The lives of many Palestine refugees living in Ein El Hilweh were affected by the clashes in the camp. Some have lost their houses, others their businesses and livelihoods. We are thankful to the European Union for the contribution as it is vital for meeting the needs of these families.”  

“The cash provided helped these families to recover faster and gave them greater choice and flexibility to meet their basic household needs,” said Massimiliano Mangia, who oversees EU Humanitarian aid operations in Lebanon. “Overall, we see cash assistance as an efficient and dignified way of providing humanitarian aid.”

About ECHO

EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) has assisted Palestinian and Syrian refugees and Lebanese communities since the start of the war in Syria in 2011. Between 2012 and 2017, ECHO provided 439 million Euro in humanitarian funding in Lebanon, with 85 million in 2017 alone. This includes cash assistance, the provision of shelter, water, education, and other critical services. 

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. 

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Huda Samra
Communications Advisor – Lebanon (Arabic and Francophone)
+961 81 666 134
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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