This Final Report summarises the activities carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that were funded under the Emergency Appeal for Northern Lebanon (September 2007-August 2008). This appeal was launched in response to the major humanitarian crisis that occurred in Nahr el-Bared Palestine refugee camp (NBC) during the summer 2007.
On 20 May 2007, fierce fighting between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the radical group Fatah Al-Islam (who were using the camp as a base) erupted in NBC, 20km north of the city of Tripoli. The conflict quickly turned into a three month siege of the camp that forced the refugee inhabitants of NBC and its adjacent areas to flee to safety, most taking refuge in Beddawi camp near Tripoli. Initial estimates indicated that around 31,000 Palestine refugees (5,449 families) were displaced as a result of the massive artillery and aerial bombing campaign. The figures were later revised to 27,000 refugees or 5,553 families who were affected by the crisis. Among them, 1,264 refugees were able to return to the adjacent areas after October 2007, but remained in need of humanitarian support.
The conflict left the camp in ruins and schools, health clinics and relief services offices in the UNRWA compound were also destroyed, as were many residential and commercial properties owned by both Lebanese and Palestinians in the adjacent areas located outside of the official camp boundaries.
While the fighting was still raging, a large-scale humanitarian emergency operation was organised to support the thousands of refugees fleeing the camp. UNRWA was the lead agency for these operations with coordinated support from the UN Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement as well as local and international NGOs.