The Norwegian Government is providing an additional NOK 10 million in humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees from the Nahr al-Bared camp. The violent clashes between the Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam in the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared have caused extensive damage. More than 90% of the camp has been totally destroyed.
"The refugees need more help now after the protracted fighting in the camp,” the Norwegian Foreign Minister said.
Together with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has invited the international donor community to a meeting in Lebanon on Monday 10 September to ask for humanitarian assistance and support for reconstruction. Norway will announce its contribution of NOK 10 million at the meeting.
As early as last May, Norway allocated NOK 2 million in emergency relief for the refugees from Nahr al-Bared. The new contribution of NOK 10 million brings the total amount of Norway’s direct humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon up to NOK 37 million. This support is channelled through the UN, the Red Cross system and NGOs. In addition, Norway has increased its allocation to UNRWA’s operating budget for 2007 to NOK 150 million. This is an increase of NOK 50 million from 2006 to 2007.
“Norway is a major supporter of UNRWA’s important work. We are now allocating additional funds in order to enhance the agency’s capacity to allieviate the refugees’ dire situation,” said Mr Støre.