camps_palestineThe British Embassy Beirut announced today the UK’s new contribution of £1.5 million to UNRWA, in response to the United Nations appeal to provide urgent support for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Following is the statement issued by the UK’s Department for International Development:

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced new funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that will help Palestinian refugees in Lebanon over the winter. It will provide urgently needed medical supplies for 1,172 families and ensure that 3,500 families have shelter.

Over 425,000 Palestinian refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon. As a result of violence in 2007, thousands of refugees were forced to leave the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp. Many now live in overcrowded living conditions in temporary houses, rented facilities or with relatives, and are fully dependent on UNRWA for their daily living needs.

DFID Minister Alan Duncan said: “I remain concerned by the difficulties facing thousands of Palestinian refugee families in Lebanon, especially those displaced from the Nahr el-Bared camp. This new UK support will help the most vulnerable refugee families during the cold winter months ahead. But the only long term solution for Palestinian refugees across the Middle East is a negotiated peace agreement with Israel. The UK is continuing to work with both parties and the international community to achieve a just and fair two state solution.”

The UK is committed to helping the 4.8 million Palestinian refugees across the region, including in Lebanon. We are one of UNRWA’s biggest backers, with UK aid currently helping them to deliver:

- healthcare to 263,000 women and 242,000 children
- education for 45,000 children
- vocational training for 1000 vulnerable and disabled people
- food and cash aid for 29,000 extremely poor people.

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