Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Photo credit: APA
Palestinian activists and civil society institutions have raised alarm bells over the deteriorating humanitarian condition of Palestinian refugees across Lebanon refugee camps.
Activists said displaced Palestinian families in Lebanon’s AlBekaa region have been struggling for survival due to the cold weather and freezing temperatures. The situation has been made worse due to the high unemployment rates and the denial of access to the local labor market by the Lebanese authorities.
Activist Mahmoud AlShehabi said many Palestinian families cannot afford food items to feed their starved children, buy medicines to their families, pay education charges, and shell out rental fees.
He said the humanitarian situation has taken a serious turn for the worse due to the crackdowns perpetrated by the Lebanese authorities and the cut of relief services by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Over 470,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon. About 45 per cent of them live in the country’s 12 refugee camps. Conditions in the camps are dire and characterized by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.
Palestinians in Lebanon do not enjoy several important rights; for example, they cannot work in many professions and cannot own property (real estate). Because they are not formally citizens of another state, Palestine refugees are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon.