Refugees in a building under construction they have been using as a shelter in southern Lebanon, on March 17, 2020, after Lebanon urged people to stay at home for two weeks to stem a novel coronavirus outbreak. © 2020 Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP via Getty Images
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced its decision to suspend cash aid transfer for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon pending the finalization of the required checks.
The Agency said aid distribution will be suspended starting June 11 until further notice.
UNRWA said transaction codes previously sent to the refugees along with ad hoc hotlines will also be temporarily invalidated.
A few weeks ago, UNRWA in Lebanon said it will start implementing an online program to transfer cash grants to Palestinian refugees in an attempt to rein in overcrowding outside of the Bob Finance bank.
UNRWA said the e-system will allow the Agency to determine the number of registered refugees pending the delivery of their cash allowances. A hotline was also established to renew old registration cards obtained before 2009.
The UN has identified Palestinian refugees in Lebanon as one of the most marginalized and poorest communities in the region as they continue to face high marginalization, making them heavily reliant on humanitarian support to cover their basic needs. The socio-economic hardships and unrest experienced by the country have compounded the refugees’ already dire living conditions.
The majority of the Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon live in poverty and are unable to meet even their most essential food requirements. The refugees’ vulnerability is further compounded by their lack of access to healthcare facilities.