A woman carries a diabled man wearing a protective face mask in the Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut where many Palestinian refugees are taking shelter on March 22, 2020. (AFP)
Palestinian refugees and activists sheltered in Tripoli and its Badawi refugee camps, in Lebanon, rallied earlier this week outside of UNRWA offices to protest the Agency’s decision to reduce cash aid for Palestinian refugee families starting January 2022.
Earlier last month, UNRWA said in a statement that starting 2022, multi-purpose monthly cash grants of 100 USD to every registered Palestinian refugee family from Syria (PRS) will be reduced to 25 USD per person.
The Agency also said every PRS will receive an additional cash grant of 150 USD on two batches in 2022. UNRWA will suspend its food allowances for PRS in Lebanon.
Palestinian refugees and CSOs have strongly condemned the decision which they said is a sign of apathy regarding the abject humanitarian condition already endured by the Palestinian refugee community in displacement camps across the Lebanese territories.
They added that the decision is also a serious breach of UNRWA’s humanitarian mission as mandated by the UN and the Agency’s promise to assist Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation, including Lebanon.
Palestinian refugees have urged UNRWA to work on their unconditional return to their homes from which they have been displaced by the Israeli occupation since 1948.
At the same time, a number of NGOs have leveled heavy criticism at UNRWA and urged the Agency to backtrack on the new measures which they said would result in further despair for PRS.