UN (10 September 2007) – The United Nations appealed today for $55 million to reconstruct the Nahr el-Bared camp for Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon, which was badly damaged during months of intense combat between the Lebanese army and Fatah el-Islam gunmen.
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Geir O. Pedersen told a donor meeting for Nahr el-Bared, being held in Beirut, that “thousands of displaced Palestinian and Lebanese civilians” now depend on the support of the international community to restart their lives.
“We, the United Nations, will continue to assist and support the people affected by the conflict to the best of our ability,” he said, adding later that “we count on the continued support of the international donor community to ensure that the recovery and reconstruction phase will move forward rapidly and effectively.”
Earlier this month the Lebanese army announced that it seized full control of Nahr el-Bared from the Fatah el-Islam gunmen group, which it began fighting in May, forcing most of the camp’s estimated 31,000 residents, including about 8,000 classified by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as special hardship cases, to flee to the nearby Beddawi camp and other areas.
In his statement, Mr. Pedersen voiced the UN’s support “to the Lebanese Government, the army, the Lebanese people and the Palestinian refugees and the PLO for the courage, determination and unity with which they have faced and overcome the challenges posed by the criminal aggression of Fatah el-Islam.”