UNRWA Asks $26 Million for Syria

UNRWA appeals for US$ 26 million to rehabilitate Neirab Refugee Camp in Syria

UNRWA Press Release, February 27, 2007


(Editors Note: Compare this to what UNHCR is requesting for African refugees.)


Amman– The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East(UNRWA) has appealed for US$ 26 million to improve the living conditions of some 18,000 Palestine refugees living in Neirab camp near Aleppo, Syria.

Launching the appeal in Amman this morning at a regular meeting of UNRWA’s Advisory Commission, Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd said: “The Neirab project represents a prototype thatwill empower Palestinians to secure their livelihoods, meet their needs and address their concerns”.
Neirab camp originally housed World War II troops. Six decades later, Palestine refugees still live in the original barracks and no renovations or re-building has been done to accommodate the expanding refugee population over the years. This has led to overcrowding and unsafe building structures that pose health and safety hazards.

In 2003, UNRWA started a project to relocate 300 families from Neirab to new houses constructed on a plot of land made available by the Syrian government in the nearby camp of Ein Al-Tal. This represented Phase I of the project, but the need remains to improve conditions in Neirab camp itself.

Phase II will utilize the newly available space in Neirab to reconstruct the camp and to develop housing units and community facilities. The entire project emphasizes community participation. “This is a bottom-up project, where the refugee community prioritized the development of their neighbourhood”, said the Director of UNRWA Affairs in
Syria Panos Moumtzis. The top priority for refugees is improvement of education and health facilities. They also would like to have open public spaces, leisure facilities and neighbourhood nurseries. In addition, the project will create opportunities for skills training and employment coaching activities.

The project reflects the co-operation between the Syrian Arab Republic, UNRWA and donor countries to provide better services to Palestinian refugees. So far, the Syrian Government has been the strongest supporter to the project, contributing US$6.5 million.

Addressing delegates from 24 members and observers of the Advisory Commission, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd urged donors to support the implementation of Phase II of the project. “Your generous response to this appeal will be deeply appreciated by refugees, not only in Syria, but also in other areas of operations”, said Karen Koning AbuZayd.

UNRWA is a humanitarian and human development Agency providing education, health care, social services, micro-credit and emergency relief to over 4 million registered Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over 430,000 Palestinian refugees of whom over 30,000 live in the Aleppo area.

See also: http://www.un.org/unrwa/english.html



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