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The European Union has allocated €12 million in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) efforts for the reconstruction of the Nahr el‑Bared Camp (NBC) in Lebanon. These funds come in addition to the €24 million previously donated by the European Union to contribute to rebuilding the NBC.
The €12 million contribution will go to support the rehousing of approximately 400 families and 87 retail units. It builds on the EU support to date to rehouse 350 families and build 68 retail units, enabling the community of NBC to revitalise their economic and social life.
"I am happy to announce a new EUR12 million EU contribution to the NBC reconstruction effort. We hope that this support will contribute to settle grievances surrounding the 2007 conflict and to provide better protection, shelter and dignity to the lives of many Palestinian refugees in this country," Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, said.
Almost half of the reconstruction of the camp has been completed to date with support from a wide range of international donors. Given current funding to the Nahr-el Bared Appeal, it is envisaged that approximately 2,670 families (11,062 people) will return to their homes by mid-2017.
“We are truly grateful for this latest contribution from the European Union and for our continued partnership and cooperation,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, as he appealed to the international community to make a final commitment and see this project through to its completion. “We must take the opportunity to finalise the reconstruction of NBC; otherwise, we risk alienating the remaining displaced refugees, abandoning them to despair and the effects of frustration that comes with it.”
UNRWA, the Lebanese government and donors, including the European Union, aim to ensure the full reconstruction of NBC. With recent contributions, 72 per cent of those originally displaced will be able to return to the camp. UNRWA is still appealing for US$105.9 million to complete the remaining part of the reconstruction.
EU and UNRWA: Together for Palestine refugees
Since 1971, the European Union and UNRWA have maintained a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East. Today, the European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. This reliable and predictable support from the European Union enables UNRWA to provide daily quality education for roughly half a million children and primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. The partnership between the European Union and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestine refugees to be better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, thus contributing to the development of the entire region.