Exchange of Notes for Grant Aid to the Republic of Lebanon through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the Agency's Emergency Appeal for Northern Lebanon

March 19, 2008

  1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend Grant Aid for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding of 588 million yen, through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), for the implementation of the programmes of the Agency's Emergency Appeal for Northern Lebanon. Notes on this aid were exchanged on March 17 (Mon) (same day local time) in the capital city Beirut between Mr. Yoshihisa Kuroda, Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon, and Ms. Karen Koning AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of UNRWA.
  2. The main points of the programme are as follows:
    • (1) Content of the programme
      • This programme provides funding necessary for assistance in housing, education, mental care and daily life conducted by the UNRWA for the Palestine refugees in Nahr El-Bared camp situated in northern Lebanon.
    • (2) Necessity of the programme
      • In May 2007, an armed clash broke in Nahr El-Bared Palestine refugee camp between the Lebanese national police army and the extremist group Fatah Al-Islam. As a result, more than 30,000 persons in the camp fled to other camps, and they had difficulties in securing food and water and were forced to live under the worst conditions with insufficient housing and bad hygiene.
      • Although the armed clash was calmed down, and the refugees who fled to other camps are returning to the Nahr El-Bared camp, housing and the living infrastructure were totally devastated by the military actions that lasted for as long as three and a half months, and the refugees are in a difficult situation in minimal living conditions in the ruins of their camp.
      • There is a fear that through the unstable domestic situation in Lebanon, the Palestine refugee camps have become a breeding ground for the international terrorist group Fatah Al-Islam, which may become a factor preventing stability in Lebanon. In the mopping-up operation in the camp in Lebanon in September 2007, the problem of Fatah Al-Islam was supposedly settled. However, leaving the Palestine refugees in Lebanon in the worst living conditions might destabilize the situation there.
      • In such a situation, UNRWA formulated Emergency Appeal to address the urgent needs of the Palestine refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Based on this, the request has been made to Japan for grant aid to prevent conflict and build peace.
    • (3) Effect of the programme
      • It is expected by the implementation of this programme, including such humanitarian assistance for the return of about 32,000 refugees to Nahr El-Bared camp and capacity-building in the regional societies where they return, will contribute to the improvement of the living environment and stabilizing the situation.
      • Extending assistance for the fight against international terrorism in Lebanon is expected to lead to the stability of the country's vulnerable domestic politics, realization of long-term and continued peace and ultimately to the stability of the Middle East region and the eradication of terrorism.

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