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Middle East: new agreement paves way for $27 million UN reconstruction effort in Jenin

Middle East: new agreement paves way for $27 million UN reconstruction effort in Jenin

A new agreement between the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has paved the way for a $27 million push to rebuild and repair the Jenin camp on the West Bank.

The accord, which was concluded on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, will provide funds to refurbish refugee shelters, camp infrastructure and communal facilities destroyed or damaged in the April fighting.

After signing the agreement, UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen hailed the United Arab Emirates for its "great humanitarian gesture [which] will, I am sure, do much to remind Palestinian refugees that their plight has not been forgotten by the outside world."

According to UNRWA, some 400 families were rendered homeless when their shelters were completely destroyed during the Israeli military action, while an additional 1,500 dwellings suffered varying degrees of damage. The Agency has been providing the homeless, who are currently being housed in tents or rented accommodations near the camp, with food, medicine, cash assistance, kitchen kits and other relief since April.

UNRWA, which has undertaken to rebuild the camp over the course of the next two years, will carry out the project in coordination with the refugees themselves, the Municipality of Jenin and the Palestinian Authority. During the process, the Agency will make use of local Palestinian contractors, workers and suppliers to the maximum extent possible.