UN agency rebuilds homes of 18,000 Lebanese air-raid victims

UN agency rebuilds homes of 18,000 Lebanese air-raid victims

The United Nations shelter agency said today that it has completed the repair of thousands of buildings in Lebanon that provide homes to some 18,200 people and which were hit by Israeli air raids during the fierce war with Hizbollah in mid-2006.

The renovated homes, renovated by UN-Habitat with €1.2 million in funding from the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), are in neighbourhoods of the capital, Beirut, as well as in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.

Partners in the projects included the municipality of Choueifat, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Danish Refugee Council and local neighbourhood committees.

“We consider this project essential,” Mayor Bassam Raad of Baalbak said. “We wish this to continue with this project so that the city of Baalbak will become more organized and more developed.”

Since November 2006, UN-HABITAT in Lebanon was able to secure some €3 million from several donors, mainly from ECHO and the governments of the Netherlands, Cyprus and Finland, it said.

Its mandate in post-crisis environs includes reconstruction efforts as well as projects to strengthen communities and lay the foundation for long-term sustainable recovery, the agency said.