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Japan donates US$ 2.4 million to Nahr el-Bared Camp reconstruction
The Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon, H.E. Koichi Kawakami, and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Salvatore Lombardo, signed today an exchange of notes formalizing a ¥201 million (US$ 2.4 million) donation to the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared Palestine refugee camp in north Lebanon.
This contribution will be earmarked to the reconstruction of Package 3, which includes the main commercial street and as such is a key component of the Nahr el-Bared camp reconstruction.
Currently US$ 207m are still required to complete the reconstruction of the camp of which US$ 7.7 million are still needed for Package 3 only.
The destruction of Nahr el-Bared camp in the conflict of 2007, and the subsequent displacement of some 27,000 Palestine refugees from the camp and its adjacent areas created a humanitarian crisis, the effects of which are still being felt three years on. Thanks to donor contributions since 2007, UNRWA has been able to meet the most basic needs of the displaced refugees.
The physical reconstruction of the camp started in November 2009, with construction underway for two packages out of eight, and three of six UNRWA schools. Nevertheless, the long-term recovery of the camp and its residents is by no means assured, and UNRWA’s support to the displaced refugees continues to be vital.
In the aftermath of the NBC conflict, Japan responded very generously to the humanitarian emergency, by contributing a total of US$ 6,531,257 to UNRWA for Nahr el-Bared relief assistance under the Flash Appeal and Emergency Appeal.
This contribution is even more commendable after the terrible earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan recently, causing wide scale destruction and lots of human suffering.
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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