HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Friday, May 25, 2007

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 U.N. AGENCY HELPS PALESTINIAN REFUGEES HIT

 BY LATEST LEBANON VIOLENCE

As of today, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has registered and helped relocate some 25,000 Palestinian refugees who have fled the fighting in the Nahr el-Bared camp in northern Lebanon.

 

Most of the displaced people have found refuge in the Tripoli region, in the UNRWA-operated Beddawi camp. About 2,500 people are in schools or women centres made available by UNRWA.

 

While a casualty and damage assessment still being compiled, UNRWA staff members who lived in the camp say about a third of all houses have been damaged or utterly destroyed. Eyewitnesses interviewed by UNRWA spoke of several dozen dead, with two mass graves reportedly dug inside the camp to dispose of the bodies.

 

With the help of regional governments, the ICRC and Lebanese agencies, UNRWA’s efforts continue to provide emergency food aid to the displaced and those still inside the camp. UNRWA is providing water and sanitation supplies, along with hygiene kits and sleeping bags. An emergency appeal to cover estimated needs over the next 30 days is being prepared.

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