UNRWA and EU inaugurate Khan Dunoun Sewage Project

28 April 2009

28 April 2009


Ambassador Vassilis Bontosoglou, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Syria and UNRWA Commissioner- General Karen Koning AbuZayd inaugurated, along with Syrian government officials, European Commission and UNRWA staff members and Palestine refugees, the completion of Khan Dunoun Camp’s Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

“This project exemplifies UNRWA’s fierce work towards ensuring the right of every Palestinian family to have decent housing and highlights the Agency’s readiness to launch successful partnerships with relevant actors like the European Commission and the Government of Syria in order to improve Palestine refugees’ living conditions” said AbuZayd.

The Khan Dunoun water supply and sanitation project has provided every household in Khan Dunoun with wastewater discharge and water supply connections. The project comprised the construction of 14 km of wastewater collection system, 2.2 km of main wastewater conveyor pipe, 20 km of water supply networks, 400 m³ capacity elevated water tank and 10 km of asphalted roads. In addition, the project included the drilling of a 550 m-deep water well. The € 2.1 project was financed by the European Commission and implemented by UNRWA in collaboration with the Syrian Ministry of Housing and Construction.

“It is by joining efforts with UNRWA and local and central authorities that the European Commission envisions a better and brighter future for Palestine refugees in Syria,” expressed Mr. Bontosoglou.

Mr. Ali Mustafa, Director- General, GAPAR expressed his appreciation for the EC continued support to the Syrian government for their constant efforts to improve the living conditions of the Palestine refugees.

This project is part of a larger € 8 million EC-project aiming to prepare the studies and designs for regional water supply systems and two large regional wastewater treatment facilities serving a population of 400,000 living in the south west part of rural Damascus.

Khan Dunoun Camp, some 20 kilometres south of Damascus, is one of the poorest refugee camps in Syria. It was established in 1950 and has a total population of 11,000 refugees.

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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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