Acting UN Special Coordinator and UNRWA Director in Lebanon visit Rashidieh Palestine Refugee Camp
Today, the Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Pernille Dahler Kardel and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Claudio Cordone, visited the Palestine refugee camp of Rashidieh in southern Lebanon.
Ms. Kardel and Mr. Cordone met with representatives of Palestinian factions and Popular Committees of Rashidieh and discussed with them the situation in the camp on the political, social and economic situation in the camp.
Ms. Kardel also visited Sanabel Elderly Centre where she met with residents of the camp, including youth groups, women, elderly and Palestine refugees from Syria and visited the UNRWA Ein el Assal and Aqsa schools. She also met with UNRWA staff and non-governmental organizations to discuss the support provided to Palestine refugees, as well as existing partnerships, in order to better serve and deliver comprehensive assistance to Palestine refugees.
“I saw firsthand the difficult socio-economic conditions of Palestine refugees in the camp and the indispensable role UNRWA plays in providing them with critical services,” Ms. Kardel said. “UNRWA operations in Palestine refugee camps are important for stability and socio-economic progress, which impact both the refugee camps and the surrounding areas,” Ms. Kardel added.
Mr. Cordone highlighted the Agency's support to Palestine refugees and the importance of that support for stability in Lebanon and the region. Mr. Cordone said, “We all know the challenges that Palestine refugees in Lebanon face. UNRWA remains committed to the delivery of assistance and protection to Palestine refugees, in particular to the most vulnerable. Until a just and lasting solution is achieved, the work of the Agency remains vital and is key to the preservation of the rights, dignity and hope of Palestine refugees.”
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 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.