UNRWA Inaugurates New Bridge in Aqbat Jabr Refugee Camp

25 January 2017
© 2017 UNRWA Photo by Asad Jabari
© 2017 UNRWA Photo

On Monday, 23 January, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Aqbat Jabr Camp Services Committee inaugurated a new concrete bridge in Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in Jericho.

The new bridge, which connects two parts of the camp, will significantly enhance safety and access for all camp residents, replacing an old, dangerous and dilapidated bridge.

The new bridge was constructed by Palestine refugees working under the UNRWA Emergency Cash-for-Work (CfW) programme. The project was implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Aqbat Jabr Camp Services Committee.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Scott Anderson, the Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank; Eng. Sami Barham, the Director of Public Works and Housing in the Jericho Governorate; Jamal Awadat, the Head of the Aqbat Jabr Camp Services Committee; and Yousef Manasra, the Head of the Ein el-Sultan Camp Services Committee; as well as community representatives and UNRWA staff members.

Marking the occasion, Mr. Anderson said: “This new bridge is a good example of a low cost project with a very big impact. Students on their way to school, parents on their way to work and families on their way to the market; all will benefit from this new, safe bridge. I am thankful to our Palestinian partners, without whom this project would not have been possible.”

The Head of the Camp Services Committee expressed his thanks, saying: “Before rehabilitating it, this bridge was dangerous for those who cross it, especially since a lot of the camp inhabitants use it on a daily basis. We thank UNRWA for quickly addressing this issue and we call on them to do more projects in Aqbat Jabr camp, especially in infrastructure and on the road networks, for it is a camp with a size of 1,600 dunums.”

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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