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UN Special Coordinator and UNRWA Director in Lebanon visit Mieh Mieh Palestine Refugee Camp
The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Mr. Jan Kubis and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Claudio Cordone, visited the Palestine refugee camp of Mieh Mieh as well as Mieh Mieh municipality in southern Lebanon.
Mr. Kubis was briefed by UNRWA representatives on the situation in Mieh Mieh camp, the living conditions of Palestine refugees and UNRWA’s work. Mr. Kubis and Mr. Cordone met with representatives of Palestinian Factions and Popular Committees of Mieh Mieh camp and discussed with them the political, social and economic situation.
The two UN officials toured the camp and the areas affected by the clashes in 2018 and met with families to hear firsthand about their living conditions.
Mr. Kubis and Mr. Cordone then met with the Mayor of Mieh Mieh municipality Mr. Rafaat Saed Abusaba accompanied by mukhtars and municipality representatives, later they met with representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces who gave a briefing about the security situation.
“I welcome the efforts made by the Palestinian factions and the Lebanese authorities to organize and ensure the safety and security of the Mieh Mieh camp, its residents and the neighboring community.” Mr. Kubis said. “Also important are the living conditions of the Palestine refugees, their protection needs, and their human rights while reconfirming their right of return. We urge the international community to provide increased assistance to UNRWA and the authorities of Lebanon to take positive steps to ensure their rights and dignity in accordance with respective international conventions and norms so that their living, social, and humanitarian needs are met” he added.
During his meeting with Mieh Mieh Mayor, Mr. Kubis expressed his and the UN appreciation for hosting for decades Palestinians in Mieh Mieh, but also Ein El Hilweh camps. “This generosity is highly appreciated but Lebanese authorities and international community including the UN ought to understand and react better also to the needs and concerns of this and other host communities and increase their support.” Mr. Kubis said. He welcomed the cooperation between Lebanese authorities and Mieh Mieh representatives and underlined the importance of continuous dialogue between the Lebanese and the Palestinians.
Mr. Cordone thanked Mr. Kubis for his visit and for supporting UNRWA and reiterated the Agency's commitment to provide assistance and protection to Palestine refugees. He said, “UNRWA stands in Mieh Mieh and in other camps to protect the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees until a just and lasting solution to their plight is achieved. The support of the whole UN family is key in achieving our goals.”
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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