Hundreds of displaced Palestinian families have been living in squalid shelters for years in Lebanon (Photo: Stephen Starr/Al Jazeera)
Representatives of Arab states hosting Palestinian refugees have warned of the “worst scenarios” in Palestinian refugee camps in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when hundreds of cases have been reported in those camps.
This came in a meeting of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) held under Jordan’s chairmanship.
The meeting discussed support for the Agency as it continues to meet the needs of millions of Palestine refugees who face hardship and denial of rights in the Gaza Strip and West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The meeting further underscored the anti-coronavirus responses in Palestinian refugee camps and UNRWA’s plan for the new academic year 2020/2021.
The parties present at the meeting urged the United Nations to live up to its responsibilities regarding the Palestinian refugee community, calling on UN bodies and donor countries to meet their funding pledges and help UNRWA overcome its deficit.
The meeting was attended by the head of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees, Ali Mustafa, and a number of Palestinian officials along with representatives of Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugees.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.