Tuesday, March 17, 2009

United Nations Creates Refugees

The United Nations has announced that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) "tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees will be able to improve living conditions for thousands living in Lebanese camps thanks to a new partnership with the United Arab Emirates."

The money, $6,000,000, is coming from the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent (UAERC) and will go to UNRWA in accordance with two agreements signed on March 16, 2009. According to the UN,
"$5 million will go to rehabilitating 343 of the most structurally unsound, hazardous and unhygienic shelters in Bourj El Shemali camp in South Lebanon.The project is part of the Camp Improvement Initiative launched by the Lebanese Government and UNRWA in 2006 to improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees in Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps. Another $1 million will enable UNRWA to construct 149 temporary housing units for Palestinian families who were displaced from the Nahr El Bared camp nearly two years ago."

For those who may have forgotten, the UN points out that "the camp was basically a complete town of over 30,000 inhabitants before it was destroyed by intense fighting between the Lebanese national army and Fatah el-Islam gunmen between May and September 2007."

UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd welcomed both agreements, noting that much of the world’s attention recently has been on the situation of Palestine refugees in Gaza. “However, we must not forget refugees elsewhere in the region who may be living in deplorable conditions,” she stated.

This is not the first venture for UAERC. It has previously "funded major construction projects including Khan Younis in Gaza, Jenin in the West Bank, and more recently Neirab in Aleppo, Syria."

UNRWA notes that there are 4.6 million Palestinian refugees in camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Long used as pawns by the Arab nations in the Mid East, this latest "humanitarian" gesture does nothing to bring peace to the region. In fact, it will stoke the fires of hatred now being bred in the refugee camps. What other people keep their brethren in conditions of squalor? None. What other people keep their brethren out of society, employment and citizenship rights? None.

Rather than investing $6 million dollars to rebuild camps destroyed in internecine fighting, would not the money be better spent integrating these so-called refugees into the society of their host country?

For the full story, go to UN News Centre

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