What We Do

Infrastructure & Camp Improvement
Infrastructure & Camp Improvement

Of the some 5 million Palestine refugees registered with our Agency, roughly one third live in 58 recognized refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

1.63 million
Lives Impacted
Palestine Refugee Camps
Houses Rebuilt in Nahr el Bared
Houses Rehabilitated/Rebuilt in Gaza

Of the some 5 million Palestine refugees registered with our Agency, roughly one third live in 58 recognized refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Over the years, these camps have transformed from temporary 'tent cities' into hyper-congested masses of multi-storey buildings with narrow alleys, characterized by high concentrations of poverty and extreme overcrowding. The camps are considered to be among the densest urban environments in the world, but because camp structures were built for temporary use, over the decades the buildings have become overcrowded, critically substandard and in many cases life-threatening.

Under international law, refugees have—as does everyone—the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, without prejudice to other rights they enjoy as refugees. Launched in 2007 to address the deteriorating environments of the camps, the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement programme (ICIP) operates on the premise that the spatial and environmental conditions in which Palestine refugees live cannot be divorced from their livelihood or well-being. Consequently ICIP adopts an integrated, comprehensive, participatory and community-driven improvement of the built environment of Palestine refugee camps, utilizing urban planning tools.

Infrastructure & Camp Improvement In Our Fields

Our programme was established in Gaza to improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees through the planning, design and construction of UNRWA facilities, shelters, schools and health centres, as well as through comprehensive planning for the environmental health sector. Our programme also works on the restoration of sewerage and drainage works, water wells and wastewater treatment in Palestine refugee camps and surrounding areas.

After establishing a coordination mechanism for the entry of construction materials into Gaza in 2010, UNRWA initiated a recovery and reconstruction...Read more

In the West Bank, our programme operates as a project, unlike in UNRWA’s other areas of operations. The West Bank ICIP has been funded by BMZ / the Government of Germany since 2007, with its funding deadline set for December 2013.

Our programme has been able to make significant change with limited resources and in a climate of political stalemate, conflict and restricted rights. The depth and breadth of ICIP work is due in large part to our partnership with the Job Creation Programme (JCP).. This close working relationship has allowed for a high rate of community involvement in...Read more

Due to the ongoing armed conflict in Syria, the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement programme in the country has temporarily stopped work in the Palestine refugee camps.Read more

In Lebanon, ICIP was established in March 2010 to replace the Field Engineering & Construction Services Office (FECSO). We work on a number of projects in the 12 Palestine camps throughout the country, including shelter rehabilitation, construction, maintenance, infrastructure, camp improvement and environmental health. We also support the Agency’s reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp, mainly through advice and secondment of staff.

Our goal is to improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees in Lebanon. Although funding constraints remain a serious concern, we are working...Read more

Jordan hosts the largest number of Palestine refugees of all five fields of UNRWA operations, constituting over 40 per cent of the total registered number in the Near East. Of these, nearly 370,000 are registered in one of Jordan’s ten recognized Palestine refugee camps. These camps often suffer from dilapidated shelters, inadequate infrastructure and a lack of facilities, compromising the Palestine refugees’ quality of life. The ICIP was introduced in Jordan in 2007 to address the substandard living conditions in Palestine refugee camps. It has been funded by BMZ / the Government of...Read more

In More Detail

Improving Conditions
Standards of living and socioeconomic development cannot be separated from...
Community Involvement
Recognizing the invaluable knowledge of Palestine refugees about their own...
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
Join the #DignityIsPriceless campaign to stand up #ForPalestineRefugees