Since their creation some 70 years ago, the Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon have remained confined to the same restricted areas. As the infrastructure has deteriorated and the population increased – notably fleeing Syria in the recent years -, the quality and quantity of water accessible to the camp communities had become increasingly at risk. This has multiple reinforcing impacts in health, livelihoods, educational attainment, psychosocial wellbeing, and security in the camps, and is also further aggravated by Climate change.In addition, UNRWA today provides education services to over 35,000 Palestine refugee students. An excessively high number of schools are not purpose-built, but rather poor and obsolete facilities in a state of disrepair, suffering from overcrowding, and a lack of green spaces. This poses a serious threat to the rights of children to benefit from safe and healthy learning environments. Moreover, high maintenance and running costs of such installations come in addition to the prohibitive high rental costs.
In line with France’s strategy against fragility, fighting vulnerabilities and responding to crises are one of AFD’s strategic priorities by 2022. In the Middle-East, AFD’s Peace and Resilience MINKA Fund supports multi-year initiatives increasing the resilience of communities affected by conflict and forced displacements.
AFD’s Peace & Resilience grant will allow comprehensive rehabilitation of all urgent water infrastructure needs across all camps in Lebanon. These works will durably provide greater access to safe, equitable and sufficient quantities of water to meet the increasing daily demand of Palestine refugees in Lebanon.
The new contribution will also support UNRWA in constructing two school complexes, one comprised of Elementary and Preparatory schools in Nahr el-Bared Camp, and another in Beirut made up of a Preparatory and Secondary school. The purpose-built schools will replace rented and pre-fabricated school premises ensuring local students – boys and girls, according to their needs - receive quality, equitable and inclusive basic education in a safer and more secure context. UNRWA will pilot trilingual Arabic-English-French education, reflecting the additional educational and economic opportunities available in Lebanon’s multilingual context.
- Palestine refugees living in the 12 Palestine Refugee Camps in Lebanon:
- have safe, equitable and sufficient quantity of water for their basic needs
- are served with adequate sewerage systems
- live in an environment in which health and other risks posed by storm water are durably minimized, increasing Lebanon’s sustainable development
- 1,296 Palestine refugee school-aged children from Nahr el-Bared and 1,752 from Beirut have increased access to safe and sustainable education services
- Elimination of rental fees and reduced maintenance costs, equal to savings worth over 14m USD over 10 years.
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