Germany Supports PRS in Lebanon

16 December 2013
Germany Supports PRS in Lebanon

East Jerusalem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) signed today another Agreement with KfW, the German Development Bank, for a contribution of EUR 5.7 million (US$ 7.8 million) to contribute to the Agency´s support to Palestine refugees that fled from Syria (PRS) to Lebanon.

The funds from Germany, provided via KfW on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, will deliver emergency support for a period of 10 months to PRS in Lebanon, allowing them to focus on building their resilience against the negative effects of the conflict. PRS will be provided with cash for housing and food assistance through the recently introduced ATM system, and will also receive health care assistance.

The funding will also help continue the work of a sustained, strengthened emergency coordination team, ensuring that UNRWA can respond effectively to the regional effects of the ongoing conflict. The donation forms part of the Regional Programme for the Improvement of Living Conditions of Palestinian Refugee Camps (REPAC). Since the inception of REPAC in 2011, the German Government has provided via KfW EUR 19.8 million (US$ 27.2 million), in support of Palestine refugees.

The Director of the KfW Office Ramallah/Al Bireh Thomas Eisenbach stated: “Our commitment to Palestine refugees is long standing. With this contribution, we hope to help improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees from Syria who are seeking safety and shelter in Lebanon.”

Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Chief of the UNRWA Donor Relations Division, thanked for the support. “Germany and KfW have made another important contribution today,” she said. “With their support, it is possible for UNRWA to help meet the needs of vulnerable Palestine refugees from Syria.”

As of December 2013, there were some 51,000 PRS in Lebanon, where they depend heavily on the host community and on UNRWA services, including emergency assistance as well as education and health care. The Agency expects their number to rise to 100,000 in Lebanon by the end of 2014.

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 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank 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
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