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Hansen welcomes UAE aid to Jenin as generous

posted on 30/04/2002: 796 views


The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) hailed yesterday as 'effective and impressive' a UAE offer to reconstruct the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank destroyed by Israeli forces. "It is a unique contribution as it will cover costs of rebuilding and repairing the camp," UNRWA Commissioner General Peter Hansen told a press conference at the end of his visit to the UAE. 'Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, conveyed to me a message from President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on UAE pledge to reconstruct 800 houses in Jenin camp to ease the suffering of the inhabitants,' Hansen said.



Sheikh Zayed has also pledged to repair Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, one of Christianity's holiest sites, currently under Israeli siege. "This most generous pledge will bring some hope and reassurance to a badly traumatised refugee population. It means UNRWA can look beyond catering to the refugees' immediate needs and can now get started quickly on the reconstruction of the camp," Hansen said. Cost of reconstruction is projected at US$35 million. 'UNRWA will first de-mine the camp from explosives planted by Israeli army before withdrawal and then undertake the construction in cooperation with the Palestinian ministry of works and the UAE Red Crescent Society, Hansen said. '



We hope that other countries would follow the UAE suit in extending assistance. The UN body estimated that 800 families, comprising more than 4,000 individuals, were made homeless by the Israeli military assault on Jenin camp earlier this month. On the UN fact-finding mission to Jenin, Hansen said 'UNRWA is currently gathering and documenting information and we will offer them these information without any reservation. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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