Italy Contributes to UNRWA Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal in Lebanon

24 January 2019
H.E. Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon Massimo Marotti and Director of UNRWA Operations in Lebanon sign EUR 1.5 million agreement in support of UNRWA Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal. © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Nuha Ahmad

The Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon, Massimo Marotti, and the Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone, signed an agreement for an additional contribution of EUR 1.5 million from the Government of Italy to the 2019 UNRWA Syrian Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal in Lebanon. The signing ceremony was held at the Italian Embassy in Beirut and attended by the Director of AICS Beirut Donatella Procesi.

This new critical funding will enable UNRWA to continue providing support to health care for Palestine Refugees most in need of assistance in Lebanon. It will support hospitalization to nearly 1,500 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) and multipurpose cash assistance to Palestinian refugees from Syria displaced to Lebanon.

Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Cordone said: “UNRWA would like to thank Italy for its continued support for the Agency’s mandate, specifically the vital health services it provides to the PRS in Lebanon. It is only with support from donor partners like Italy that UNRWA is able to continue to serve the Palestine refugee community".

Ambassador Marotti highlighted the importance of UNRWA services in Lebanon and said: “Italy recognizes the enormous efforts of the Lebanese Government to host vulnerable refugees, and will continue to support its endeavors. With the agreement we signed today, Italy confirms its commitment to sustain the commendable actions undertaken by UNRWA in the country, promoting a vision that places the vulnerable people at the center of the Italian aid policy.”

The Government of Italy has long been one of the Agency’s most reliable donors. In 2017-2018, UNRWA received EUR 3.75 million from the Italian government in support of the Agency’s assistance to Palestine refugees in Lebanon, as well as to the reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp (NBC). The ongoing reconstruction project still requires some US$ 66 million for completion.

 


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.

The reconstruction of NBC remains the single largest construction project ever undertaken by UNRWA. The current estimated cost of the project is US$ 329 million, of which US$ 263 million (80 per cent) has been raised to date, leaving a shortfall of US$ 66 million. The currently available contributions will be enough for the dignified return of 3,773 families (16,438 residents) to NBC. If no additional funding is received, around 1,166 families (4,440 residents) will remain displaced.

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

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:

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Huda Samra
Communications Advisor – Lebanon (Arabic and Francophone)
Mobile: 
+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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