UAE Red Crescent visited Palestinian camps in Lebanon

13 October 2011

13 October  2011

A delegation from the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society (UAERC) visited Palestinian camps in Lebanon accompanied by UNRWA officials. The delegation includes Mr Ahmed Al Mazroui, Chairman of the UAERC, Mr Omran Matar Treim, Member of the UAERC board, and Mr Abdel Karim Bensiali. On 13 October, the group visited Burj Shemali camp in Tyre and Burj Barajneh camp in Beirut. This was an occasion for them to see some houses that were rehabilitated in Burj Shemali camp thanks to a generous donation of US$ 5 million from the UAERC. A total of 348 shelters were either rehabilitated or reconstructed thanks to the UAERC’s donation.

After his visit to the camp, Mr Ahmad Mazroui thanked UNRWA and all those who contributed and supervised the rehabilitation works. He added: “Palestinians are our brothers. Assisting them is one of the priorities of the UAERC. I saw that people were very happy with their newly rehabilitated homes. When the home environment is sound, all the family will be psychologically and socially sound. This project is only the first step that will be followed by many others to contribute to the social development of our Palestinian brothers.”
Thanking the UAERC for its contributions, Mr Salvatore Lombardo, director of UNRWA in Lebanon, said: “The UAERC is one of our key Arab donors. We are extremely grateful for their funding of the rehabilitation project in Burj Shemali camp, which now allows many refugee families to live in a decent and healthy environment. Shelter rehabilitation in all camps remains one of the main priorities for the refugees and UNRWA. We look forward to continuing working with the UAERC on further shelter rehabilitation and thus improving the refugees’ difficult living conditions.”
Tomorrow (14 October), the delegation will visit Nahr el-Bared camp and will be briefed about the progress of the camp’s ongoing reconstruction. The delegation will also visit temporary shelters in the adjacent area, which were set up in 2009 thanks to a US$ 1 million donation by the UAERC.

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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.

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